Paramedic ‘faked calls to help lover’

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A SENIOR paramedic who had an affair with an ambulance manager faked emergency call-outs to help her meet response time targets, a disciplinary hearing was told.

Simon Surplice is alleged to have made six false ‘running’ calls – these are lodged by a paramedic rather than a 999 call from the public.

This, the panel heard, was to help his lover meet the daily target that 75 per cent of life-threatening calls must be attended within eight minutes.

During a hearing of the Health Professionals Council (HPC) in London yesterday, he was also accused of making a series of explicit calls to his lover – a control duty manager at the ambulance trust referred to as only Miss X.

He is said to have arranged to meet her while off duty and visited her home in an NHS vehicle.

And he is accused of discussing ways to disable the vehicle’s tracking system.

Mr Surplice, the regional spokesman for the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel, is also said to have concocted an emergency call to the air ambulance to ensure an ex-colleague got an unauthorised fly-past at his funeral.

Mr Surplice’s calls were discovered during a routine analysis of emergency calls, the hearing was told.

Documentation for the calls was missing.

The HPC said the first three bogus calls were made on May 1, 2009, while he was on duty at a charity fishing match in Winchester. The second three suspicious calls were made on May 23 while he was off duty at a wedding in Portsmouth.

The calls on May 23 were the difference between Miss X hitting her target and not.

Reading from transcripts, Sarah Harris, HPC’s lawyer, told the panel at one point Miss X could be heard saying: ‘You are good at generating rubbish jobs.’

Later Surplice is heard to ask: ‘Are you going to hit the eight minutes? If not you can always put me down as in attendance if there’s not going to be any comeback and hit the eight minutes.’

Miss Harris told the panel Mr Surplice was later found guilty of gross misconduct following an internal disciplinary meeting. She said he was demoted from his role as operation supervisor to a band five paramedic. If found guilty of misconduct by the HPC he could be struck off.

Mr Surplice denies all charges except that he made inappropriate calls relating to personal relations with Miss X while on duty.

The hearing ends today.