ANGRY ambulance staff have launched a scathing attack on "reactionary, whimsical, bullying" bosses.

And workers at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust say changes to the way they work have put people's lives in danger.

Now they have raised their concerns with the Prime Minister, Health Service chiefs and MPs.

They voiced a list of concerns about the way the service is being run.

In a letter they say: "While ever the Yorkshire Ambulance Service's management employ a reactionary, whimsical, bullying policy, absent of any thought for patient care, the lives of the people of Yorkshire are in danger and the welfare of staff at risk."

The letter is from a group of unnamed staff, including paramedics, technicians, primary care assistants, emergency care practitioners, communications staff, ancillary staff and locality managers.

They say they are treated like robots.

The letter criticises:

* A decision to replace a 30-minute paid break with a 20-minute unpaid break.

* The use of response cars instead of full ambulance crews

* The system of categorising incidents by their seriousness

* Pay disparities

* Changes to training

The letter says the changes to the break arrangements, which mean staff cannot be called out during their breaks, mean emergency call-outs could be critically delayed.

It adds: "A child could be knocked down around the corner from an ambulance station and our management's current policy would mean that, if a crew on that station were on a break, a crew from another station (at least 20 minutes away) would be forced to respond, unless a member of the public actually banged on the door."

The letter says the use of response cars, which do not carry the same resources as a full ambulance but are sent to respond to some 999 calls, is a target-hitting exercise.

"It's all about stopping the clock and has nothing to do with the quality of care provided," the letter says.

And it claims the system of categorising call-outs means elderly patients with less serious injuries, such as minor fractures, "are often left hours on the floor, alone, cold and without pain relief".

But the YAS said the criticisms were inaccurate and inconsistent with feedback.

Operations director Jon Darley said changes had been made to meet the needs of patients while giving staff the best conditions. He added: "These changes have been felt most acutely in the former West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service area.

"Throughout the process of introducing these changes we have worked with staff and union representatives.

"We have kept, and continue to keep, the impact of these changes under close review, to monitor their effect on staff through four weekly reviews involving staff and management and also informal staff feedback."

He said the trust would continue to work with staff throughout the process and invited the people who wrote the letter to discuss their concerns.

He added: "The picture painted of YAS in West Yorkshire is inaccurate and not consistent with feedback we have received."