AMBULANCE staff were left angry after they were told to decline a hospital trust’s offer of a Covid-19 vaccination.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) issued the message to staff via social media saying it had “protocols to follow”.

Staff were offered the chance to have a jab in Brighton by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH).

But Secamb said it wanted to vaccinate its staff in line with its protocols so it could keep track of who had had the jab.

The Argus:

The GMB union said it had been “flooded with complaints” following Secamb’s Facebook post, with some ambulance staff having “travelled almost 100 miles to access this treatment”.

The union said they “were met by a Secamb manager who had been instructed to turn the staff away at the door”.

GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer said: “I was so shocked when I first found out about this,and GMB will be seeking immediate answers to several serious questions and concerns about this blatant abandonment of those on the frontline, who without question put their lives at risk all year and who then find themselves forbidden to access the vaccine when available and possibly wasted if not used up. It is nothing short of criminal.”

The Argus:

BSUH said the trust was offering the jab to vulnerable NHS staff including Secamb and community and mental health partners.

The hospital trust also said that no doses of the vaccine had been "wasted".

It said: “The trust is following national guidance and vaccinating hospital outpatients who are 80 years and older and vulnerable NHS members of staff.”

A Secamb spokesman said the service had not stopped staff from receiving the jab as they were in the process of getting it through appointments at sites across the region, including Brighton.

The Argus:

More than 1,000 staff have received their first vaccination or are booked to receive it in the coming days, he said.

“We do, however, need to follow a process to book appointments rather than allow staff to self-present, as was suggested in the well-meaning social media post by a member of our staff,” he said.

“This is to ensure that, after our vulnerable staff receive the vaccine, we can then prioritise our patient-facing staff ahead of anyone else and ensure that those attending vaccinations sites are able to actually receive the vaccine.”