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The United Workers Union (UWU) is urging the State Government to act immediately on the recommendations outlined in the Delivery of Ambulance Services in Western Australia report tabled in parliament today.

The situation identified by The Standing Committee is so critical the Western Australian community cannot afford another five years of St John mismanagement.

UWU, which represents paramedics and other emergency services workers within the St John organisation, welcomed the Standing Committee on Public Administration’s unanimous findings, which outline systemic failings in service provision which require immediate attention.

The report found that St John has failed to achieve the vast majority of its Key Performance Indicators around response times and that service delivery was subpar, particularly in regional WA.

Of major concern to the union were the issues around workplace culture: “There is a lack of trust from frontline staff in senior management at St John Ambulance WA,” according to one finding.

UWU National Ambulance Coordinator Fiona Scalon said the issue of trust comes as no surprise as members have been raising the cultural issues within the organisation for a long time.

“This report is very timely and has brought to light many of the issues raised by front-line workers over many years. The recommendations are comprehensive and I hope they will bring about change within St John but the five year deadline is way too lenient,” Ms Scalon said.

“Workers are burned out now, people are dying now. The Western Australian community cannot afford another five years.

“The findings in the report are very damning and any contract with St John must address the issues raised in the Inquiry.

“The ambulance service is an essential government service and as such should be run as an essential government service, not one controlled by private interests and associated low levels of transparency and accountability.”

The union has been campaigning for WA’s ambulance service to be brought back into the public sector for more than five years.

The unions notes that the report’s recommendations were unanimously endorsed by all members of the committee.


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