Archive for April 1st, 2012

April 1st, 2012

Is the Ambo service Tits-up too?

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

I’ve mentioned a couple of times recently about the service the Ambulance folks are providing lately. Now I’m not singling them out for criticism, readers will know how critical I can be of the police service, but it seems the Ambo service are getting worse and worse.

I’m sure it’s to do with cuts and the management trying to squeeze each last little drop from all the people they employ, but I’,m amazed this is not mentioned more in the press. It’s getting to appallingly dangerous levels.

It used to be whenever we called an ambulance, one was sent. End of story. now it seems a lottery as to whether one is sent at all.

In the last week alone I must have personally dealt with a dozen incidents where no ambulance was available. We had one of our staple diet calls to a woman who had fallen behind locked doors. Sometimes it is the person themselves who calls 999, sometimes they press their emergency button to call centre who ring us, sometimes it’s a carer or Meals on Wheels who can’t get a reply, but the story is the same; an elderly person has had an incident and can’t get to the door.

Sure enough, we arrived, gained entry to the house and found an 87-year-old woman on the floor. On this occasion we had called an ambulance straight away because the lady had called her care centre saying she couldn’t get up.

After about 20 minutes we call the Ambo control asking for an ETA, they say they haven’t sent one and ask if it’s still required. We explain that we wouldn’t be ringing for an ETA if it wasn’t required, we’d be ringing to cancel them (well we don’t actually say that because we are polite and professional – well, I am). They say they haven’t got one and are waiting for one to come free.

Another 30 minutes goes by and Ambo control ring us checking if an ambulance is still required as they still haven’t got one. We say it is, another 15 minutes and we ring again, they say they haven’t got one and politely ask if we can take the lady to hospital. we politely decline because our officers aren’t trained to lift and transport frail 87-year-old ladies who might have broken their hips or have any other medical condition which hairy-arsed coppers might make worse by trying to help out another service that can’t cope.

I went off duty after 90 minutes so I don’t know when or if the ambo turned up.

This week we had an RTC, same story, several calls to Ambo, 45 mins to arrive after they managed to release an ambo from a previous drop at a hospital  20 miles away. Then, later in the same shift someone needed to go to hospital after being assaulted. This time a single crewed paramedic arrived. There was no ambulance available. After half an hour we sent a police van, put the patient in the van, with the paramedic, drove 30 miles to one of the few hospitals in the area that still have an A&E, and had to provide another officer to drive the paramedic’s car to the hospital so he didn’t have to walk back and collect his car from the scene.

If this is representative of the way the Ambo service is going, I’m really surprised the Daily Fail isn’t publishing stories daily.