Belfast Telegraph

London Ambulance Service out to recruit Northern Ireland paramedics

By Victoria O'Hara

Paramedics from Northern Ireland are being targeted in a new recruitment drive to leave and join the London Ambulance Service (LAS).

The LAS has launched a new campaign this week to attract 500 frontline staff, including 250 paramedics from across the UK.

It comes as frustrations have been voiced that qualified paramedics in Northern Ireland are failing to get permanent full-time jobs.

The London service is advertising vacancies for NI medics –who cost more than £40,000 to train – to apply to work in London.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) recently confirmed the number of new paramedics employed as a permanent full-time member of staff in the last year was zero.

Unions explained paramedics being trained on temporary contracts had been a common practice by the NIAS.

Qualified paramedics told the Belfast Telegraph that during a time when the health service was under intense pressure, many were feeling "utter frustration" and were leaving because of the lack of full-time opportunities.

The NIAS is set to launch its own recruitment drive at the end of July to fill paramedic vacancies with interviews due to take place. Paramedic vacancies throughout the UK are open to all suitably qualified paramedics.

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