Raise wages for Ambulance Care Assistants to match the level of NHS wages!

Raise wages for Ambulance Care Assistants to match the level of NHS wages!

18 August 2022
Signatures: 998Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Marissa Landy

Raise wages for Ambulance Care Assistants to match the level of NHS wages! No more minimum wage for ACAs.

  • ACAs are critical workers, but are often paid less than the living wage
  • This petition is calling for equal pay for ACAs and for the NHS to look after their outsourced staff
  • Ambulance Care Assistants transport the most vulnerable to and from hospital


ACAs are vital!

ACAs (Ambulance Care Assistants) are the people that transport unwell and immobile patients to and from hospital. That could be for an appointment, going home after a night in A&E, or going to a care home. 


ACAs are critical workers!

They carry people up and down their stairs and into their beds every single day. They have also been the people (alongside emergency staff) moving COVID patients throughout the pandemic, sometimes all day. This has been a scary time for everyone, but ACAs have had to endure this period with minimal training related to COVID and, more often than not, a huge lack of PPE. When working as an ACA, I had to find PPE myself around the hospital to feel protected.

These workers must be physically and emotionally fit as they witness trauma on a regular basis. They also must be prepared to act in emergency situations at any time. 

With a maximum of three weeks training, they are expected to know everything they need in emergencies including CPR, using oxygen correctly, lifting people in sometimes very difficult situations, handling people with contagious diseases, comforting patients who are distressed or even mourning and the list goes on. 


ACAs are underpaid!

Despite all of this vital work, ACAs earn less than the living wage! As the majority of ACAs work for private companies, rather than the NHS, they can be earning as little as £11.01 per hour in London for example. This is incredibly low, especially considering the level of risk involved including their health, physical injuries and indeed huge amounts of risk with regard to all of their patients. Due to the sensitivity of the situations they're in, one false move can result in legal trouble. A knock of a piece of furniture could land an ACA in court.

The lowest pay within the NHS in London is £11.97 per hour. That is for every role within the NHS and yet, these workers, because they are contracted earn so much less. Without ACAs the NHS would crumble and a huge amount of people would suffer. 

We need our NHS to refuse to outsource contractors that do not pay their workers at least the same level of pay as the NHS. Due to the level of risk and responsibility, ACAs should be paid at least the level of Pay Band 2 which is £25,582 in London, £24,516 just outside of London, £22,385 on the Fringe of London and £21,318 elsewhere.* Hourly pay in London would then be £12.30, just outside of London £11.79, Fringe of London £10.76 and elsewhere £10.24. It is important to note that ACAs working for private companies were left behind after the NHS pay rises

ACAs work for profit-driven companies who are raking in taxpayer money from the NHS. As the Guardian noted, ‘The value of contracts given to non-NHS providers, mainly profit-driven firms but also including some social enterprises, has soared by 89% since 2015, from £1.9bn to £3.6bn a year.’ This money is going to shareholders and executives, and not to the staff who need it and keep the NHS running. 

Although £12.30 is still too low, we need to start somewhere and the only way we can do that is to push the NHS not to allow these private contractors to exploit their workers financially. 


Why everyone should support a pay rise for ACAs:

  • To improve mental health and wellbeing: morale within ACA teams would improve. As someone who worked as an ACA, I was surrounded by people who just did not feel valued.
  • To improve retention and quality of care: There is a very high turnaround of jobs within Patient Transport Services due to staff leaving. This is often to do with low pay. The teams are then full of ‘newbies’, people who are inexperienced and are unable to provide the level of care needed. If wages were raised, more experienced staff would stay in the job leading to newcomers learning from more equipped staff. Thus, the level of care would be improved and the whole service would run more smoothly.
  • The ongoing cost-of-living crisis is going to affect those on the lowest wages.  We need to look after vital workers. 

Sign the petition for urgent action! With enough signatures we can take this to Parliament and demand action from private companies, the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care. We can explain to the MPs that ACAs are doing extremely important work and that their work deserves to be properly valued!


Link 1. https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/working-health/working-nhs/nhs-pay-and-benefits/agenda-change-pay-rates/agenda-change-pay-rates 


Link 2.

Ambulance worker who miscarried after she had to lift obese patient wins discrimination claim | Daily Mail Online


*Due to the fact that ACAs tend to work longer hours than certain jobs within the NHS, we can calculate these wages on a 40 hour week basis to create the hourly salary and apply that to a 45-60 hour week.

This petition is being promoted through Baloney Theatre Company's production of 'A NON-EMERGENCY' 

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Signatures: 998Next Goal: 1,000
Support now