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Thousands of ambulance workers are considering leaving the profession due to increasing levels of stress, healthcare union Unison warned today.
Unison has published a survey showing how demanding targets and physical strain lead many to quit their jobs.
"Some of our members now tell us they are suffering from heart palpitations, flashbacks, nightmares, migraines, depression and an overall feeling of despair," said Unison head of health Christina McAnea.
The union believes it is the government's job to offer alternatives for a better work-life balance for those working in the emergency services.
"We have no time between jobs - even for serious life-threatening ones," a paramedic told the survey.
"It's becoming increasingly difficult to provide the care I want due to pressure from management."
Many staff feel they suffer in silence, with only 6 per cent turning to their bosses for help.
The survey also showed that half of all ambulance staff had experienced work-related stress in the last 12 months.
Addressing similar concerns, NHS nurses have started a campaign calling for higher staffing numbers.
The four nurses to one patient ratio - proposed by the 4:1 Campaign - would ensure better working conditions for health personnel and more comprehensive patient treatment.
"Like nursing, ambulance services need more staff to meet the needs of patients," nurse and 4:1 activist Mark Boothroyd told the Star.
"Cuts are depriving us of resources and management are resorting to horrific levels of bullying to meet government targets."
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