Govt urged to lower retirement age for ambulance staff

The retirement age for ambulance staff should be brought in line with other emergency service workers, after 250,000 people signed a petition in support of the changes.

Paramedics will hand the petition to the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock today, 10 December, urging them to reduce the retirement age from 67 to 60.

Unison has called on the government to make the changes, stating that ambulance workers face “extreme physical and mental” pressures, due to shifting from day to night rotas, lifting and carrying patients and attending traumatic incidents.

Despite this, ambulance workers are only able to retire seven years later than police officers and firefighters.

Commenting on the proposal, Unison head of health, Sara Gorton, said: “Ambulance staff do a physically and mentally demanding job. They often work outside in challenging circumstances, and do shifts that can have an impact on their health.

“Lowering the retirement age in line with other emergency services is the right thing to do. We’re urging Matt Hancock to make this a reality.”

The petition was launched by Matt Fisher, 52, whose colleague, Ian Canning, 63, died a week into his retirement. Canning spent 40 years working for the London Ambulance Service, attending incidents including Grenfell Tower and the 7/7 bombings.

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