PLANS to send out solo paramedics in Mid Cheshire to 999 calls have prompted worries that staff and patients could be at risk.
The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), which covers all of Cheshire, will increase its number of “solo paramedic responders” to help them meet Government targets.
A Trust spokesman said: “Patient safety is of paramount importance to the Trust and any models used will be fully risk-assessed.”
But Stephanie Thomas, head of health for paramedic union Unison, said: “We are concerned this move could put staff and patients at risk in Merseyside and the surrounding area.
“We are not against an increase in solo response vehicles in principle and would welcome it, but what steps have they taken to make sure there are enough staff?
“What happens if a patient needs to be taken to hospital? One person cannot move a patient.
“We do not want staff waiting alone in threatening situations for back-up.”
From April, ambulance response times will be measured differently. New Government policy means the clock starts from the moment an emergency call is connected to its local ambulance control centre.
To meet the new targets, NWAS says it needs to improve its response to these calls by at least 10%.