Ambulance Drivers Day

Scribe

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Posted by a London ambulance driver... sad but true...

So the future of the NHS is being talked about a lot at the moment, mostly by people that don’t actually understand how it works.
Most of us when we see an ambulance going past on blue lights assume that they are going to an actual emergency.
Let me describe my day. Bear in mind as you read this that I was one of 300+ resources available to London today. I guarantee nearly all of them will have had a similar day. Please think about that as you read this...

Job 1: a man found dead by his housemate. I think we can all agree that this is what we are here for. This will be my one ‘proper job’ for quite a while I should imagine.
Job 2: a man in his 20s who had cut his hand on a broken glass. I quite literally put a plaster on it and left. In the 8 minutes I took to get there, we had 5 999 calls about this patient from various members of the family. Five. On what planet is that acceptable?
Job 3: a child of secondary school age with a cough and temperature since Friday. That’s it. Like half the children in the country at the moment they had a viral chest infection that will get better by itself, given the chance. This was a 999 call so I can’t even blame 111 for it.
Job 4: a man who pretended to have sickle cell disease in order to get a fix of morphine. You won’t believe me, but people like this are not uncommon. I fell for his act and he ended up jumping the queue at hospital. He walked out an hour later after they rumbled him - I was told after he has been doing this several times a week for years.
Job 5: a non emergency call that had waited 7 hours (I’m sure your getting the gist of why). A bed bound patient that needed to go into hospital. A genuine, albeit non emergency case. We were only there then because a neighbour had phoned 999 and made up a symptom that she knew would get a quick response. You may be able to sympathise with that, but it does not solve the problem.
Job 6: a girl in her 20s who quite literally phoned us for a lift to hospital. She lied on the phone of course, saying she had symptoms that she didn’t so that we got there quickly. She didn’t need to go to hospital. Not that it really matters, but I finished my shift late because of her.
This is one car on one day. This is a NORMAL day. It was very similar yesterday, it will be very similar tomorrow.
I ask you whether you think that is normal? Who do you think is to blame? The ambulance service is one part of the NHS - but our daily experiences are all very similar.
Be under no illusion that who you vote for on Thursday will make any difference to this - this is not the fault of government or underfunding, despite what they may say. All I see is government propaganda on both sides and people falling for it. I for one don’t want the NHS to get any more funding when it’s going to be spend perpetuating this nonsense. Do you?
Anyway, I’m glad I do the job I do because on the rare occasion I go to someone that actually needs me I know I can make a difference. The trouble is, people won’t keep doing this job unless something gives.

If the British public want to save the NHS... we need to teach them to stop abusing it’s resources ?
 

Peter

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I have a Niece who along with her husband both work for the London Ambulance Service, and knowing what they go through every working day earns them my absolute respect and admiration for the job they do.
 

Pompous git

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Enormous respect for the emergency services, I`m not squeamish but I do not know how I would react in an emergency situation {blood
everywhere people screaming ect}. Only have to look at the graffiti, popular television programs and some of the idiot dialect to realise
we are breeding a nation of morons.
 

John Step

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God knows what the answer is. I can't see charging a fee for a stupid call would work.
The whole system needs looking at.
My bugbear at the moment is the appalling administration here in Lincs. My wife has appointment letters arriving after the appointment date. This I am told is not unusual. How many of these appointments are being logged as no shows that are quoted as costing the NHS a fortune.
One woman on our local news has received a duplication of the same letters about 30 times.
How much postage did that cost.
Our doctors receptionist had to phone the appointments clerk to instruct her how to open an attachment on a letter which was highly relevant or things would have gone awry.
Paying peanuts for monkeys comes to mind.

Oh yes and before anyone thinks I have got it wrong, my wife worked in a hospital administration dept before retiring. She says she despairs at the lowering of standards.
 

MarkW

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Keep up the excellent work and 'Nil Illigiterae carborundum'. I've only been in an ambulance twice - once at the age of 13 when the GP called one for me due to acute appendicitis (at that point I protested it didn't hurt that badly...), and three years ago when, a week after seeing my GP about chest pains, I called 999 after Hoovering with chest pain that wasn't going away - it was a heart attack - and the call centre professionally established that it was a real emergency as I talked to them and sent out an ambulance, the crew of which were calm and professional, getting me wired up and on my way to A&E. How people can call out an ambulance on the most spurious of feeble excuses is beyond me.
 

RedhillPhil

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"If the British people......".
I've said this time and time again. Provide something that's free and there's a certain type of person that'll abuse it.
 

KevinT

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Hi Scribe

You guys in the NHS do an amazing job - many years ago my son was about 19 months old and had a bad chest infection and was finding it hard to breath we rushed him to the hospital at 2am Saturday morning in our car - the A&E dept was full of people all suffering from too much alcohol and blood everywhere from fighting again resulting from too much alcohol - they rushed my son straight in to see a doctor and he was given a steroid nebulizer and all was well - full respect to that team.

In the past they used "Public Information Films" to inform the public - maybe one of these should be run to stop all the time wasting as they could inform just what is acceptable when to ring 999 or indeed 111 - my fear is the problem to this will be the "ambulance chasing" lawyers who would have a field day if someone died and didn't ring that ambulance

KevT
 

Scribe

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I don't think anything will change until you either bill people for non emergency call outs or after they arrive at hospital with a minor complaint take them to a cellar and give them something that means the ambulance crew haven't wasted their time.
 

Scribe

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Hi @KevinT

I'm not an ambulance driver Kev, It was something I had seen and thought it deserved re-posting.

Closest I have been is working as a hospital porter for 6 months after being made redundant. I can tell you one thing NHS workers don't do it for the money.
 

lp1886

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I love the fact that he thinks his main job is getting to a person that is already dead.
 

Sportsman

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Another factor, not necessarily to do with ambulances, is the number of people who don't want to wait for a GP appointment, so they go straight to A&E.
 

tonerain

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On our local news programme "Look North" last night, it was reported that Bolton Hospital A&E had been put on it's highest state of busyness; I think it was "Code black".
An interviewee said that it was mostly because of the Novo virus and flu.
So the people in A&E were mostly there because of sickness, diarrhoea or feeling rough as a bear's bum.
They should be at home in bed and certainly not in A&E.

In this country over the past 40 years we have bred 2 generations of slack jawed knuckle draggers, obsessed with X box playing and celebrity TV shows.
And they get a vote too!
 
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