999, I need an ambulance please… sorry you can’t have one!

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  • 999, I need an ambulance please… sorry you can’t have one!
  • wrightyson
    Member

    So I had to make the call on Friday, old boy took a fall and hurt his arm/shoulder. Conscious and breathing but in severe pain, any kind of movement causing him shortened breathing and huge discomfort. Usual old type battle hardened fella who didn’t need any help etc, but after a period of sitting around and general searing pain he let me call an ambulance. I genuinely thought it warranted one due to his age/pain combination, but no, he was awake so it was suggested to put him in a taxi.
    I drove him in the end, it was a pretty horrendous journey over speed bumps with a dislocated shoulder…

    Hope he’s doing ok. It’s brutal but every public service is having to prioritise the increasingly limited resources.

    rene59
    Member

    Sounds more like no you don’t need one than no you can’t have one. Hope he heals up soon though.

    Indeed, harsh, but sounds like it wasn’t an emergency.

    marsbarman
    Member

    I remember a few years back I was driving home from a mates late(ish) on a Saturday night. Saw a group of elderly people flagging cars down, few drive past but I stopped.

    Turned out one of the gents had placed his can on a drain cover and it had slipped through causing him to fall into the road and break his hip. Phoned 999 and was told there would be one on the way shortly. 30 minutes later, nothing.

    Thankfully had a doctor drove past not long after to help keep an eye on him. But we ended up waiting for nearly 4 hours to get an ambulance for him. Any form of movement caused him excruciating pain. The public services are an utter wreck at the moment and they really need to get their funding looked at.

    Premier Icon devbrix
    Subscriber

    That’s a quick response marsbarman. This is shocking https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-47146518
    Staffing is a bigger issue than money TBH. Everywhere is struggling to recruit with 100k staff vacancies across the NHS with some services critical.

    Had an ambulance turn up at my door this eve. Someone had given incorrect address/hoax call-not sure which but a complete waste of an ambulance crews time.

    I guess services are stretched and a line has to be drawn somewhere on who they go to.

    munrobiker
    Member

    The purpose of an ambulance in these times of government austerity is to transport someone who needs treatment before they even arrive at a hospital. It sounds like your colleague didn’t need this, he just needed someone to take him there. It’s harsh, but that’s not what an ambulance is for. If he’d had a heart attack then that would be an ambulance job.

    wrightyson
    Member

    I was just shocked at the ladies attitude on the phone, she’d had some pretty hard/cold training and would not be moved on her decision. On arriving at hospital I literally bailed his van on the yellow zigzags outside the door and had to get help to get him out.
    Really is shocking that such a great service is in such dire need of help.

    They have to prioritize, cant go to everything. Speaking as someone who’s spent a few car journeys to hospital with a dislocated shoulder, I don’t really know what else an ambulance could’ve done for me.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    I called an ambulance once for a fully broken foot, I too was told “get a taxi”

    #whatsNIfor?

    Houns
    Member

    As above, if it’s not a life threatening emergency, you’re not alone and you can get to hospital by other means (as in you’re not an elderly PT who has fallen, on their own and can’t get up etc) then there is no need for an ambulance

    scotroutes
    Member

    I drove him in the end

    If you’d done that at the outset then he’d have been admitted, seen and treated sooner. What sort of heartless bastard are you?

    wrightyson
    Member

    Thing is though I didn’t realise it was that bad in the ambulance world, I consider myself a pretty competent first aider and was also worried about his general well being, he was early 60s and and really really struggling with the pain, that’s why I made the call. As soon as they saw him at the hospital still sat in the van he was put on gas and air. Anyhoo, they got him sorted, I still don’t know however if he made the 6am flight he was due to get the next morning.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    At a guess they’d be under extreme demand so looking at asking those that can to use alternative pathways. Now, you may have got an ambulance but given his condition it could be an hour or more.

    It’s a bit crap yes but ambulance services are under serious pressure daily with increasing workloads while being told to make cuts.

    The purpose of an ambulance in these times of government austerity is to transport someone who needs treatment before they even arrive at a hospital.

    That’s always been their purpose.

    I was just shocked at the ladies attitude on the phone, she’d had some pretty hard/cold training and would not be moved on her decision.

    Because they can’t unless they’re a clinicuan.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    In the past few years:

    My youngest daughter (about 2 yrs old at the time) fell in the park and bit through her tongue length-wise. Blood everywhere, a very distressed small child and my wife with no transport. No ambulance available, waited 55 minutes for a taxi.

    A MTBer on my local hill cased a jump and broke his hip. A very unfit and overweight paramedic puffed up the hill – about 300m up the track from the car-park – announced that no ambulances were available and called the fire brigade. The fire crew decided that the only option was the air ambulance. Who’d expect that all the ambulances would be tied up at 10am on a Sunday in April and what a waste of resources!

    The bloke who works with my wife. His mother had breathing difficulties. Died a few hours later. No ambulance available in time to help her.

    Premier Icon richardkennerley
    Subscriber

    Watch Ambulance on the BBC to see how bad the situation is

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    The most frustrating thing about the OPs situation (as an ambo bod) is we are sent to far less deserving cases in their masses but because of a risk averse algorithm that the (low paid, non clinical) 999 and 111 call takers have to stick to, you’re more likely to get an ambulance if you’re a (for example) panicky 19yo with a sore throat (interpreted as breathing difficulties, neck pain, possible airway compromise) than a stoic 80yo with a deformed fractured limb (interpreted as peripheral limb fracture, no priority symptoms, able to make own way). It’s a shit system, and it won’t change unless society has a wholesale rethink on individual acceptance of risk.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Weirdly though, when I was in Harrogate hospital with my foot issue, I was told on the Thursday eve I’d be going to York to have surgery, and would be going via ambulance the next morning, around 11. When the crew came to take me, they wee surprised at how well I was. ‘Oh yeah I can walk fine’ ‘really? We weren’t expecting you to be conscious….’ turns out the nurses had booked an emergency transfer, as the surgery was to be that morning, so I got everything but blues and twos. The surgery was done on the Saturday, on account of its lack of urgency.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    every public service is having to prioritise the increasingly limited resources.

    Vote accordingly.

    I remember my mum getting an ambulance from her care home, seemingly to cover their backs. I doubt the ambulance will say no to that non emergency (she spent hours waiting as obvs not a genuine emergency, total pita for her too). Seems folk need educating on what 999 is for (albeit I have sympathy for the op).

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    turns out the nurses had booked an emergency transfer

    Abusing/gaming/not understanding the system is not just for the general public, ‘professionals’ do it too. The occasional GP has been know to play this game as well…

    Seems folk need educating on what 999 is for

    Oh you would be amazed. However, so long as the NHS ambulance service is commissioned and paid by call volume dealt with, there will be no will within the organisation to change.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Abusing/gaming/not understanding the system is not just for the general public, ‘professionals’ do it too. The occasional GP has been know to play this game too…

    Yes it can happen.

    Last time I called an ambulance I was told one was on the way. 30mins a police car arrived. Policemen takes a quick look at my leg, goes pale and radio’s to find out where the ambulance was. He was told there arent any. I was bundled into the police dog van and taken to A&E where as I didnt arrive by ambulance I wasnt looked at for 40mins. A nurse came eventually to “see if I might need a stitch or two” she went pale and offerred me a paracetamol which I refused. 2 mins later I was given morphine and was kept in overnight and operated on in the morning.

    The system us failing. Its the same with the police and schools. The government are screwing a population packed with dumb **** who cant see it.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    where as I didnt arrive by ambulance I wasnt looked at for 40mins

    Yeah can we kill that myth please. Arriving by ambulance makes no difference to the how quick you are seen. Especially when ambulances are stuck in queues waiting to hand patients over.

    plus one
    Member

    Last time I broke my collarbone I drove myself to hospital ! Sometimes you just need to sort it yourself 🙂

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    When I fainted and banged my head at work my colleagues called 999 while I was unconscious.
    I came round and was given the phone. Spoke to call handler, tried to play it down but couldn’t answer her questions about how long I’d been out, etc… so ambo was dispatched. Arrived no more than 15 min later. Was assessed and again, tried to down play it as was pretty embarrassed and anyway my wife is an ACP in the ED so I can get a fairly good assessment of whether I’m actually ill or not at home.
    They decided to take me in where we were met with the usual QAH 10 or so ambos queueing outside the ED. (Another thing that doesn’t help availability when they are acting as makeshift ED cubicles because there’s no flow through the hospital so no room in ED.)
    Luckily as wife was working I got snuck into a side room and seen although given that they sent me for mri, lumbar puncture etc to look for signs of cerebral oedema I think they were all generally taking things more seriously than I was.
    My treatment only slowed down once I was last the ED and into a ward.
    Anyway, what I’m getting around to is that they have to go on what’s presented to them and as much as I was obviously ticking more ‘serious’ boxes than I wanted to, other people obviously go the other way and simply by virtue of what they say or how they present end up not ticking the same boxes and get put further down the queue.

    poly
    Member

    bikebouy

    #whatsNIfor?

    That’s half the problem that causes the issue though isn’t it? The “I pay for this so can demand the service I want” attitude. If we want that level of service we’ll need to pay a lot more that a very occasional taxi.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Had the misfortune of having to call the ambulances on around 8 occasions over the last 20 years due to a family members heart defect that makes them prone to heart attacks

    On every occasion I’ve been thankful they have arrived within 10 minutes.

    poolman
    Member

    Sorry to read about your poor experiences but mine is completely opposite.

    3 weeks ago a van ploughed into our car straight out of a side rd, his fault he was not looking. I had my elderly frail mother in the passenger seat but my side, the driver, took the impact. Witness phoned the services.

    Within 10 mins max fire, ambulance and police came. I could not get out so climbed out the back. Fire moved car and made situation safe, ambo checked my mother over, police questioned and breathalyed both drivers.

    Fire and police left, kept my mother in ambo a good hour making sure we were ok. Even gave us a lift home as car was undrivable. Paramedics were brilliant, wrote up a report with advisories for us.

    So maybe we were lucky but I thought the services were amasing.

    Premier Icon jaketurbo
    Subscriber

    Sad situation.

    If this country keeps voting in conservative governments who favour methods to reassert power divides between rich and poor to be as great as possible, enforced austerity etc. then this is what happens to the NHS.

    Yeah can we kill that myth please. Arriving by ambulance makes no difference to the how quick you are seen

    Whilst I am sure you are correct I’m pretty sure had an ambulance arrived they’d have looked at my leg and I’d have at least been offered pain relief a bit quicker. Once the triage nurse had looked at it I was literally rushed through to a bed given morphine and being prodded by the trauma surgery team bloke within 5mins! As he said though you Achilles seems fine I can actually see it from here!

    Had the misfortune of having to call the ambulances on around 8 occasions over the last 20 years due to a family members heart defect that makes them prone to heart attacks

    On every occasion I’ve been thankful they have arrived within 10 minutes.

    Amen to that, I am not bothered that I was left bleeding at the side of the road if they had more important stuff to do. I just wish the system was funded to treat those who work in it better and have a bit of spare capacity so that they can give people the care they need.

    And yes I’d be happy to pay more tax to see it done before anyone asks!

    An ambulance was called for me last year. A fast response paramedic turned up first but that took almost an hour and he was surprised that the ambulance wasn’t there. That ambulance turned up over half an hour later. When chatting with the paramedic in the back of the ambulance he was telling me that they had been all over the place that day. I was picked up outside of Beaulieu and they were the other side of Burley when they got the call to come to me. They had been in Newbury earlier that day and based in Bournemouth.
    I did require an ambulance as i had an unstable fracture and was lying in the middle of the road.
    They are hobbribly stretched and were are just about to make it harder for people to come here and fill the roles.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Whilst I am sure you are correct I’m pretty sure had an ambulance arrived they’d have looked at my leg and I’d have at least been offered pain relief a bit quicker.

    Well I wouldn’t bet on it but you’d likely already had pain relief while you waited in the queue.

    bikebouy

    #whatsNIfor?

    Your state pension.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    bikebouy

    #whatsNIfor?

    That’s half the problem that causes the issue though isn’t it? The “I pay for this so can demand the service I want” attitude. If we want that level of service we’ll need to pay a lot more that a very occasional taxi.

    I’ve always stated that I’d be happy to pay more Tax for this very reason.

    So, what is NI for? No ones come up with an answer yet?

    And I do believe I needed an Ambulance, that’s why I called them.

    Now thats out of the way, who else would pay more Tax?

    ….

    Yep, I see no one putting up their hands.

    scotroutes
    Member

    Yep, I see no one putting up their hands.

    Are you blind? A number of us actually voted for a party that would increase taxes.

    Premier Icon monkeysfeet
    Subscriber

    All emergency services are stretched. Some are past breaking point , I know as I am one of them. It’s not great, low moral for those that have remained in the job. Recruitment is poor, with low starting wages,unsociable hours (who would be a cop for £19500)!!
    The odd thing is, unless there is a fundamental change in wages/staff retention then it’s not going to get better soon.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Not to turn this thread political, but I’m going to anyway.

    This is what happens when you vote Tory.

    All public services are stretched to breaking point, such is the ideologically driven desire to burn it all before selling it off to private companies.

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