More than 100 extra paramedics are being recruited by West Midlands Ambulance Service to boost staffing levels and meet increasing demands on the service, it has been announced.
West Midlands Ambulance Service yesterday announced 110 additional staff were being taken on and would be in place by the end of January.
Among the new recruits will be newly qualified paramedics who have just completed their university studies and training.
Others are qualified emergency medical technicians who have taken on additional training to become paramedics.
Officials from the trust said the additional staff would be rolled out across the entire West Midlands. But they said many of them would be based in the Black Country and Birmingham areas – although exact figures were not available.
The announcement was made at a meeting of the service’s trust board held in Brierley Hill yesterday. And members of the board were told schemes such as the extra staff being taken on would mean the trust’s planned surplus for the present financial year would be less than originally planned.
As an NHS Foundation Trust, it is required to put aside a surplus during each financial year to be re-invested in capital projects. The target for the present financial year had been £10.2 million, but the board was told the present projection showed there would be a £2.5m shortfall.
But director of finance Rupert Davies said there was still expected to be a surplus by the end of the year. “At the moment there is a drift of around £2.9 million but this is expected to improve as the year progresses,” he said.
“This shortfall is being driven by elements such as the recruitment of additional staff. We are ensuring the quality of patient care takes precedent over financial targets.”
Ambulance service spokesman Murray McGregor added: “We have chosen to look at boosting care in the here and now rather than later on down the line.”