Protected time agreed for vehicle checks

RRV line up blue sky

We all know the importance in our line of work of having the right vehicle with the right equipment on it; vehicle inspections make sure that the vehicle you’re working on is safe for you, and for your patients and this is an issue that both Unison and staff have raised and commented on. 

So on Monday (16th February) from early shift crews onwards we will be implementing a new vehicle daily inspection (VDI) procedure for ambulances and rapid response vehicles that will give you protected time to complete the check at the start of every shift. This is as a result of a lot of hard work from Unison colleagues and management to reach a compromise position which moves the Trust a big step forward. 

The operational instruction is very simple and straight forward, with the key points being:

1. You book on duty with EOC immediately at the start of your shift

2. Complete the mandatory pre-response checks during the first 15 minutes of your shift

3. Complete the remaining VDI checks at the earliest opportunity during your shift

4. All VDI checks are documented on the daily VDI checklist.

During the first 15 minutes of your shift, EOC will only dispatch you to a predicted or confirmed Red 1 call. This is to make sure those patients in the most life-threatening conditions still get a fast response, as we know minutes make the difference between life and death. We only get around 40 red 1 calls across the whole region every day and we need to get to those patient quickly, so crews allocated a Red 1 call in the first 15 minutes must make an immediate response. If you are dispatched on a Red 1 call within the first 15 minutes and you haven’t completed the checklist, then you will be able to book clear on completion of that call and then complete the mandatory VDI checks. A new VDI checklist has been developed and is available here.

If you find any issues with the vehicle you’re working on, please inform the local management team immediately so they can resolve it. If you are an off-going crew, please let the oncoming crew know of any equipment they may need to restock as part of the shift handover.

The Trust and Unison  will continue to work together to review how the new arrangements are working.

Published 12th February, 2015

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