More than 30,000 ambulance staff have left their posts since 2010, a new analysis by the Labour Party has revealed.
Examining NHS data, Labour found that the number of staff leaving the sector every year increased by 80% between 2010/2011 and 2017/2018.
Labour shadow health and social care secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the figures are the result of nine years of ‘Tory mismanagement and cuts’.
However, the Government dismissed Labour’s findings, commenting that the NHS has 3,800 more ambulance staff now than it did in 2010.
Record number of resignations in 2016/17
The Labour Party analysed NHS workforce statistics between October 2010 and September 2018, finding that 33,141 ambulance staff have quit their jobs since 2010.
This covers everyone working for NHS ambulance trusts – including managers, qualified ambulance staff, and support staff.
Although there has been an annual increase in the number of ambulance staff leaving their jobs since 2010, the highest figure was noted for 2016/17, when a record 5,002 NHS employees quit.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) – the largest ambulance trust in England, employing more than 5,300 people – has seen the greatest number of staff leave.
A total of 4,097 staff have quite LAS since 2010, the analysis showed. Labour found that the rate at which staff leave has increased across all ambulance trusts in the country.
However, the most striking percentage increase was recorded for the South Central Ambulance Service – where it’s gone up by 7.3% since 2010.
The comparative figure for LAS was 3.1%.
Ensure NHS has staff ‘it desperately needs’
Commenting on the findings, Mr Ashworth said: ‘Workforce shortages place huge pressures on ambulance services and its patients who too often are left stranded waiting longer and longer for an ambulance to arrive.
‘Today we’re calling on the health secretary to put aside his Tory leadership manoeuvrings and match the investment Labour is offering to help ensure our NHS has the staff it desperately needs.’
The party said it would commit £330m for staff training and development.
Labour also said the Government should release its workforce implementation plan, which was initially expected to be published in 2018, as a matter of urgency.
However, health minister Stephen Hammond disputed Labour’s findings saying that ‘it can’t do basic maths’ as ‘there are 3,800 more ambulance staff working in the NHS than there were in 2010’.
NHS Providers director of communications Adam Brimelow said: ‘Ambulance trusts face enormous staffing pressures. The problem has been compounded by rapidly rising demand.
‘We need to ensure ambulance staff feel valued and respected, and supported in fulfilling their crucial role.’