999 calls..

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by andy63, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. andy63

    andy63 Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,859
    Likes Received:
    6,525
    Location:
    south shields
    A bit of a rant and long winded but couldn't believe what happened today..

    It's a while since I've had to call for an ambulance ..
    But today in Durham market place an old boy fell over ...
    I went to help a young lad who was trying to get him up...
    I happened to be chatting with an old work colleague who I hadn't seen for a couple of years... we are both ex fire service..
    We got him up but he was struggling to stand and I thought sluring his speech..
    he had 2 tablets clutched in his hand which he said were for back pain not a heart condition as I first thought.
    His wife was there but very shaken and rambling a bit..
    Anyway we established they were going for a bus to a car park and then drive home in their car
    We helped him to the bu's stop but by then I had decided he needed an ambulance... and there was no way he should be driving...
    He said he wasn't in pain but was breathless and felt weak... 86 yrs old and his wife said this had happened before..
    So called the ambulance.... against the old boys wishes but in end he agreed..
    The next 5 min was spent answering questions about his condition... I was put on hold while she checked on something and then passed to a further person who asked the same sort of questions before saying they would dispatch an ambulance.... a process which took 10 min or more but felt like an hour..
    I couldn't believe it... I was getting a little angry I admit ..and kept asking them to just send an ambulance... the reply was they had to finish the assessment to establish what sort of ambulance was required...
    My reply was one that contained a crew who were capable of doing a proper assessment and get him to hospital for a thorough check..
    I was told that they were busy but an ambulance was been sent...
    Kenny my mate had long gone for his car as he could see the bother I was having...
    I told them if the car arrived we would just take him ourselves...the reply was OK just call and cancel the ambulance....which is what eventually happened...
    We got him and his wife to a and e where there were 3 paramedic units sitting around with the crews chatting... (so much for been busy i thought )the ambulance crews were very helpful when I explained the situation and got him a wheelchair and took him in to be seen too...
    I'm struggling to see the wisdom of that procedure... surely if you call 999 and ask for an ambulance it shouldn't take them 10 or more minutes to decide to send one...
    Sorry for rant but I was really annoyed..
    Andy.
     
    • Like Like x 10
    • Informative Informative x 8
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    • Useful Useful x 2
  2. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,340
    Likes Received:
    9,763
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Disgraceful Andy. I hope the old man is ok..You done a good deed for today (y)
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    14,807
    Location:
    North Wales.
    It's so upsetting for the poor old gentleman and his wife, really pleased that there was someone like you there to help.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. andy63

    andy63 Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,859
    Likes Received:
    6,525
    Location:
    south shields
    Thanks ,but is that the norm now... I thought 999 indicated some form of emergency not a bloody interrogation. ..
    I hope he's OK. . Sort of established he was diabetic so suspect that may have had something to do with it...
    He tried to slide a fiver into my hand when I was leaving him with the paramedics and his wife couldn't stop thanking us... I had to do off.. I was nearly crying by then :LOL:.. just a softie ..
     
    • Like Like x 8
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    676
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    I think it's the modern way of the emergency services attempts to save money but failing.
    They employ call centre workers on lowest money to ask questions following a script to weed out those that don't need an ambulance and end up delaying those that do.
    It doesn't need many questions to work out that someone of 86years falling on the pavement is VERY likely to end up badly bruised as a minimum and would be worth while sending someone to check them out.
    These delays are the ones we read about when they end up settling litigation that would have paid for several call outs.
    It's good that there are people like you and your pal that do care and help.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,892
    Likes Received:
    22,594
    Location:
    Moving around
    Aww sorry you been through that Andy...

    The ambulance people normally do an amazing job but after I desperately called them for my 94 yr old mother on the last occasion I have lost respect and realise it is luck of the draw. Not going into details or it will turn into a medical bashing thread BUT agree ... the 999 set up is NOT working and not just for medical calls.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. davejen

    davejen Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    688
    Location:
    Kirkpatrick Fleming Dumfries
    You should watch the programme "999 whats your emergency?" on tv, you wouldn't believe some of the calls, wasting time and resources.....
    Cheers, Dave(y)
     
    • Like Like x 4
  8. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,892
    Likes Received:
    22,594
    Location:
    Moving around
    Bri
    brilliant programme that shows what the ambulance people have to put up with ... but again maybe shows a fault in the telephone emergency vetting.

    The problem with my mum was health and safety gone stupid. They couldn't lift her off the floor to put her into a wheelchair to go to hospital .. I had to struggle doing it myself whilst trying to calm my very upset old mum whose alzheimers made it impossible to explain to her.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,793
    Likes Received:
    7,380
    Location:
    Paignton, Devon.
    Was chatting to the vet the other week. His mum, 73, fell in the house, hit her head which was bleeding. Her husband took her down to GP surgery where receptionist said no one could see her as she didn't have an appointment. Her husband asked if he should take her to A&E and receptionist told him not to do that as the practice would be charged.......

    Yet police pick a drunk up on the street and it's off yo A&E for a check up.
     
    • Like Like x 7
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    2,714
    Location:
    Suffolk
    If the call handlers didn't weed out the crap such as "my pimple has burst" or similar, many ambulances would be tied up with crap calls resulting in even less availability for genuine emergencies. When there are limited resources there has to be some triage.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,892
    Likes Received:
    22,594
    Location:
    Moving around
    I think we are saying the problem is they DON'T weed out the time wasters. On the above programme there are serious calls to which no ambulance can attend because they are picking up a call out to a drunk who calls several times a month when he wants somewhere to sleep. I also often think of the desperation of the young girl who as she was being murdered (strangled) dialled 999 and the operator put the phone down on her because she couldn't hear her properly.. training needed .. stroke victims cannot speak clearly either.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Devon
    Drunk and disorderly used to be an offence dealt with by the police - why are they no longer prosecuted and given a criminal record? Instead the drunks seem to absorb untold NHS resources for their self induced excesses as do drug takers. The world has gone mad!

    I am also a strong advocator that juveniles, once found guilty, should not enjoy anonymity. A little family shame will do wonders and the parents used to be able to be sure that the kids obeyed them because of this. My Grandfather was chairman of Essex Magistrates Bench back after the war and forecast that giving kids anonymity would reduce the deterrent for youth criminality.

    Sir Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini are also right to be campaigning for anonymity until the police bring charges against a suspect in paedophile cases.

    Rant over!
     
    • Like Like x 6
  13. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    2,714
    Location:
    Suffolk
    As to D&D, is still is an offence and they are charged and dealt with.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Devon
    As far as I am aware down here in South Devon they get carted off to hospital and don't get dealt with by the police! It seems to have become a health and safety issue with the police not wanting them to choke and die on their own vomit in the cells so the NHS get them to deal with!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Mrsambulancekidd

    Mrsambulancekidd Funster

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hi Andy, its Hazel's hubby here, I did 30yrs as a paramedic, front line for every year of my time. Now while I know exactly how ambulance services operate, even I had trouble recently when trying to get an ambulance for a man who'd stopped at our door & was clearly having a heart attack. I tried explaining that I'd recently retired but....No the call handler had to go through his bloody flow chart. The patient had stopped at my door as the on-call ambulance is still actually parked at my door, the guy who got my job still works from home & lives opposite me. The call handler simply wouldn't take my word for it that the man was having an MI. OK so yes the call handler really needs to fill out the boxes on his flow chart or the handler gets it in the neck for using common sense, but the system is not fit for purpose.
    The crews also cop for it when they show up on scene, but that's human nature when people are stressed out. One other problem which has been fed into the system is meal or break times for the crews. Our old system built in 24 minutes for lunch between the 3rd & 5th hour & although actually getting a break was difficult, most crews were perfectly happy to drop everything & run. Fast forward to the "Agenda for Change" pay & working conditions were brought into line with most other NHS workers, which sounded fine but a nurses job & a paramedics job are vastly different. Now the paramedic crew have a meal time when they're actually booked off or in other words on their own time. The call centre are NOT allowed to contact a crew during the crews down time. This is totally against the way that paramedics would actually choose to work. So the crew show up on scene unaware that there's been an issue with getting an ambulance & recriminations start. There are too many layers of "bean counters" between the patient & the help that they require. Add to that mix the huge increase to the workload & you have a recipe for disaster.

    The way that a call is answered should be thus...A 999 call gets diverted to the ambulance call handler, as the handler is typing details onto a screen, the dispatcher can see what is being typed & should select the most appropriate ambulance & very often the wagon was underway before the caller is off the line. Public education would help here as very often the caller is totally unaware of this system & start to get irked by the call handler. This wastes more time & the already overloaded system gets further behind. Now in this scenario, you add a disinterested call handler & no available ambulances & it soon goes totally tit's up. This is when the dispatcher starts trying to work out how best to utilise the inadequate resources ie: a cardiac arrest always trumps a fall in the street with a conscious patient.

    I'm really sorry that you copped for the problems that you faced & for yourself & your friend being anything but run of the mill bystanders & should have been accepted at face value.

    Oh one further problem with the current system, take the western islands of Scotland or a rural English village when perhaps only one ambulance is available & lets pop that crew onto meal break time (remember that ambulance control are NOT allowed to contact the dining crew) so whats going to happen? No ambulance is available at all. At least in most larger villages there will be a neighbouring town with an ambulance station so in theory a wagon will be dispatched, but for example the Isle of Arran has only one ambulance & the crew on station can be happily tucking into their meal totally unaware of events unfolding elsewhere. Ambulance staff didn't want to work this way, but it was forced upon them. Then perhaps the ambulance crew member on Arran stroll down to their local pub for a beer a few evening's later to be met by an angry relative that couldn't get hold of an ambulance in their hour of need. Its just wrong.
     
    • Informative Informative x 11
    • Like Like x 7
    • Useful Useful x 1
  16. wingman

    wingman Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    2,363
    Location:
    Romford, Essex
    If you get the chance, watch the recent BBC 1 programme entitled "Ambulance" (probably on Catch Up TV now).

    It features the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and gives a good insight into the work of the control room and crews as they wrestle with thousands of emergency calls each day.

    I spent 30 years of my life in the LAS, but cannot defend the actions of the ambulance service in the scenario that the OP describes. Well done him. Nice to know that there are still compassionate people around.

    Only yesterday, I was having a de-clutter day and threw out a load of old ambulance house magazines and papers. I smiled when I saw a PR leaflet which said, "The LAS deals with some 700 emergency calls a day and conveys patients to 400 hospitals and clinics....."

    The emergency call rate is now 5,000 per day! There certainly aren't that many hospitals left either.

    There has been an uplift in resources in order to meet demand and an incredible advance in trauma care BUT in my view, there are too few standard ambulance 'stretcher' type vehicles. It's great to have helicopters, push bikes, rapid response cars etc, but these are used as much to keep within the 8 minute response time as they are to treat casualties. Cars etc can't actually convey a patient. There has been too much emphasis on major trauma and not enough on the bread and butter stuff like falls in the street, or instances like the OP witnessed. Not everybody is stabbed, or has a heart attack, there should be enough resources for both types of call. IMO fifty solo paramedics in cars, equals 25 double-crewed ambulances not on the road!

    Over the years, ex-road/experienced control staff have gradually been replaced by cheaper call takers reading from a computer crib sheet. This is why you get the Spanish Inquisition when you dial 999. I'm not blaming the call takers, but the system.

    Another reason why ambulance resources are stretched is because the role of they crews has changed remarkably. At one time, it was 'swoop & scoop'. Now, almost every patient gets the full works; BP taken..... ECG and a whole host of other diagnostic tests run. Back in the day, the ambulance would have been 'green' and available for another call before today's ambulances have left the scene! Swoop & Scoop was too little, spending ages on scene is sometimes overkill. Striking a balance somewhere in the middle would prevent the OP's patient having to wait??

    Finally, a quick true story about drunks and druggies getting treatment. I used to attend calls to the Tube's Subway 4 Piccadilly on a regular basis - sometimes to the same patient who'd O/D'd three times! You could easily get to the stage where you didn't want to put you, your mate and the public in danger by going warp speed to such calls. On one particular day, my casualty turned out to be a 16 year old girl in respiratory arrest! You just can't play God.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Informative Informative x 5
  17. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,296
    Likes Received:
    12,181
    Location:
    Bolsover, Derbyshire
    You are a nice man Andy (y)

    The trouble is though now your tale is the reason why so many will chose to walk on by, getting stuck in the mess you ended up in just isn't right, I hope I would do the same as you, but not sure I would to be honest o_O
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,545
    Likes Received:
    2,714
    Location:
    Suffolk
    Probably because if someone who has been arrested for D&D or for any other reason dies in custody there is hell to pay. The police also have a duty to protect even abusive violent drunks I am afraid, birth that does not stop them being processed through the Courts at a later stage.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Enword

    Enword Funster

    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    2,122
    Location:
    Devon
    It does seem a strange way to carry on, when I was taken ill last year Id never had pain like it, (as Iv said I do know pain self inflicted some may say;)) was vomiting blood, the person on the phone wouldn't take Mrs D's explanation of what was going on & insisted that she spoke to me WTF, That aside the NHS were brilliant once I was in Hospital,
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. andy63

    andy63 Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,859
    Likes Received:
    6,525
    Location:
    south shields
    Thanks that's a real honest assessment. .. and I can relate to the issues... I'm a good while retired from the fire service.. and most probably just a well as id most probably have been sacked by now for ignoring some of the procedures that were introduced.. well the truth is i nearly was on a couple of occasions :) but i had a good bunch of lads that thankfully would do anything i asked, because they knew i wouldn't ask if i wasn't prepared to do it myself..
    andy
    andy:)
     
    • Like Like x 4
Loading...

Share This Page