YORKSHIRE Ambulance Service has paid out more than £600,000 in compensation to staff injured at work over the past two years, the Yorkshire Evening Post can reveal.
And the total bill to the public purse is likely to be much higher as this six-figure sum only relates to the excess insurance payments which the trust is responsible for.
Between January 2014 and January 2015, employees injured while working were paid £385,708 and between 2015 and 2016 the bill was £225,931.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service was responsible for paying the first £10,000 of any claim with the rest of the bill picked up through the NHS Litigation Authority on their behalf.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, come as the NHS is facing huge financial problems.
Kevin Fairfax, UNISON Branch Secretary, said: “As a union we have raised through our health and safety representatives numerous issues that have caused our members harm, usually faulty or not fit for purpose equipment.
“It seems to us that the trust are far too slow to react to these situations which in turn increases the number of injuries and hence claims.
“Safety at work should be a priority.”
Personal injury claims by patients and members of the public for problems such as slips or trips or falls also cost the trust more than £17,000 in 2015-2015 and more than £15,000 in 2015-2016.
In these cases the trust paid the first £3,000 of any claim. And a further £6,600 was paid for claims such as lost or damaged property belonging to both patients and staff.
Steve Page, executive director of quality, governance and performance assurance at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “The trust actively uses feedback from staff and learning from incidents and near misses to identify areas where staff safety can be improved.
“Over the last year we have worked closely to introduce changes to trust vehicles and equipment.”