AN under-fire Bolton-based health trust is now facing a race discrimination row with a union.

Leaders of Unite claim one of their reps has been left waiting six months to hear the outcome of a racist comment probe being undertaken by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

And officials say they have been told the alleged perpetrator had been accused of similar behaviour in June 2020.

The Ladybridge Hall based trust was already facing industrual unrest over claims exhausted medics were being expected to drive 40 minutes across the region on call-outs.

Gary Owen, the union's north-west lead officer for health, said: "We have an unacceptable situation where one of our dedicated reps, a paramedic, has had to wait six months to obtain justice from the trust’s disciplinary process."

He said the rep had been forced to take annual leave and return to her post before her colleague has been officially dealt with.

Mr Owen added: "This case is another example of the poor management at the trust as demonstrated by Unite, the GMB and Unison demanding change in the procedure that saw exhausted ambulance workers called anywhere across the region with up to 40 minutes driving time."

Lisa Ward, the NWAS director of people, said: "NWAS takes allegations of racism seriously and has undertaken a thorough investigation into this matter.

"The trade unions requested a pause in progressing investigations and cases in February in light of the challenges caused by the further wave of the pandemic.

"Still, despite this, the investigation was completed. Unfortunately, it is the case that the internal process has yet to be concluded.

"Therefore, the trust cannot provide any further comments due to reasons of confidentiality.  However, we continue to support those involved through what is a difficult situation.

“We also continue to engage in dialogue with the trade unions in relation to the deployment of crews for longer distances.

"Current levels of demand for services mean that on occasion, we are asking our crews to travel further to seriously ill patients to ensure that we can keep them safe.”