Friday, November 25, 2005

Agenda For Change - The Truth

Finally the truth about how Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are going to be "assimilated" onto Agenda for Change has come out, with staff now receiving their updated contracts.

Up until now, there have been three grades of EMT.

Grade 1 is the intermediate tier, now known as Urgent Care, who deal with Dr's Urgent Admissions (Urgents) and the lowest priority emergency calls. Not qualified to the same standard as "ordinary" EMT's.

Grade 2 is the trainee IHCD (Institute for Health Care Development) Certificated EMT. They hold this grade for one year, then take a final round of exams, including written and practical assessments. They then have to complete a ride-out (like a check ride) with a training officer assessing them on the road. Once they have successfully completed these assessments, they then become qualified. (Pay band 4, pay point 12 - basic pay of £16,004).

EMT Grade 3. Which is the IHCD Certificated Qualified Emergency Medical Technician. The level I am at now. (Pay band 4, pay point 18 - basic pay of £19,248).

Now as of October this year, there is a new grade of EMT - grade 4 (Pay band 5, pay point 18 - basic pay of £19,248). This is open to EMT 3s who have been qualified for three years. Personally I think this arrangement is a joke, as an EMT 3 can apply to do the paramedic course after being qualified for a year.

Now here's where it becomes confusing. I successfully completed my ride-out assessment on 30th September 2004. My EMT 3 status became affective as of 1st October 2004, the same day that the Agenda for Change terms and conditions officially started.

However, my certificate wasn't issued until 6th October 2004. This has obviously confused the service as they are currently trying to assimilate me as being an EMT 2 on 1st October 2004. They can sod right off with that one - I was an EMT 3, and as such I will be demanding payment as an EMT 3 from 1st October 2004.

Being realistic though, I know what this service is like, and I may end up having to put up with EMT 2 pay for the 6 days between my qualifying and my certificate being issued.

Now, as a matter of interest, and an unofficial survey, I'd like to give you the main points of the role of an EMT 3 and post links to the Band 4 and Band 5 profiles, and allow you to judge for yourself which band you think EMT 3s should be in.

We undertake daily vehicle inspections, ensuring all equipment is on the vehicle that should be there.

We drive to emergency calls, often in heavy traffic.

We assess and treat patients symptoms according to the current clinical guidelines.

We give drug therapy where required, including Adrenaline injection for Life-threatening Anaphylaxis and Asthma, Glucagon injection and Hypostop for Diabetic Emergencies where low blood sugar levels is the cause, Aspirin and GTN for suspected acute cardiac problems, Paracetamol for management of high temperature, Entonox for pain relief (otherwise known as Gas and Air - the stuff women in labour are often given), Oxygen (speaks for itself), Salbutamol Nebuliser for Asthma and other breathing disorders.
We're also responsible for the booking out and returning drugs packs at the start and end of our shift.

We perform and interpret 12-lead ECGs autonomously to detect heart attacks, and where these are confirmed, we can directly admit the patient for an operation known as "Primary Angioplasty" to clear the blocked coronary artery. (One patient I had was on the operating table within an hour of the onset of chest pain. This definately saved his life and prolonged his survival.)

We supervise EMT 1s and EMT 2s assessing and treating patients and accept clinical responsibility for their actions.

These are the main points. Please now have a look at the profiles for Band 4 and Band 5, and let me know which band you think we fit into.

The results could prove very interesting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Band 5

10:00 pm  
Anonymous Mark Myers said...

Band 5, on the whole... although can you do a cricothyroidotomy?

EMDs were supposed to be going on Band 2, which is the same as cleaners. Apparently we're getting more than that now, on the grounds that we're not allowed to leave Nee Naw Control even that it's on fire. You know, nothing to do with this "saving lives" "working stupid hours" or "taking abuse on a daily basis" business...

8:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bnad 5 without a doubt

12:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Band 5

3:17 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

Hi Mark

No, we can't do a "cric" as techs, but it's interesting to see that all the answers so far appear to be from what I would term lay-people, so therefore impartial.

So far, all have put EMT 3s in band 5, whereas the management have stuffed us into band 4, which doesn't recognise us for the skills we have. Band 5 does, although we can't do everything in the profile - but that's what the different pay points are supposed to sort out. We'd be quite happy on pay point 18 in band 5 - we'd be getting the same money, but in the band that recognises what we do.

It's not about the money (for most of us anyway) it's about recognition for the job we do and the skills we have

5:24 am  
Anonymous Stan said...

EMT 3s should be in band 3

11:49 am  
Anonymous Jennie said...

Band 5.

9:10 am  
Blogger PostPunkUnkle said...

Good Luck mate. I think you deserve band 5. I hear that there is more than one team leader getting £11,000 - eleven THOUSAND squid back pay. Don't get me started on teh unsocial hours debacle.

1:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure how this EMT 4 business is supposed to work, what has 3 years got to do with anything? You either should be in band 5 or not... and of course, you should, and I should be in 6. It seems to me we've all been stitched up, so don't come running to me if you want thrombolysing ;)

4:24 pm  

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