Inquiry over fake paramedic on 999 calls in Sussex

A South East Coast Ambulance
Image caption The woman is believed to have only acted as an observer

An ambulance trust in Sussex is investigating claims a woman went out on 999 calls pretending she was a trainee paramedic.

The woman reportedly had a letter stating she needed to go out with crews as part of her training.

An ambulance worker told the BBC the woman had worked for four months at Hove and Shoreham stations.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said patients had not been at risk and it had tightened security.

It is believed the woman only acted as an observer and never treated patients.

The GMB Union described the security breach as a "serious concern".

'Acted immediately'

Rob Macey from the union said he believed the woman had managed to gain access to crews after attending a course to apply to become a paramedic which she did not pass.

He said: "Perhaps because she knew people on the course and because she had documentation showing she was a trainee paramedic, that is how she came through."

James Pavey, senior operations manager for SECAmb, said: "The trust acted immediately when it was brought to our attention and launched an internal investigation as a matter of urgency.

"We have already taken some action to ensure patient safety is protected and that every effort is made to prevent a similar incident happening again."

It said access codes had been changed at stations and security protocols reinforced for all staff.

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