Do people realise how bad the Ambulance service is right now?

Soldato
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Had to go to the hospital last year in an ambulance and chatting to the paramedics they often have people calling 999 and ambulances for stupid things like stubbed toes, sprains and the like. They do a great job under difficult conditions.
I've always thought this was a pretty terrible excuse. Not the paramedics' fault, but more the call handling / dispatch system.

I get that some people lie about being seriously injured when they aren't just to get an ambulance out or whatever and you can't really do much about that. However some people ring up and tell the truth about what s happened. If 999 (or more likely 111) decide to send an ambulance for someone with a minor injury then that's on them. Simple answer is that if someone rings up with an injury that doesn't need an ambulance then don't send them one. Tell them to get the bus or a taxi to the nearest urgent care centre.
 
Associate
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Last night my GF's father was very ill, violently sick with blood and in severe pain, they called the ambulance at 6pm, it arrived at 2.30am, right now he is still in the ambulance outside the hospital!

What the hell is going on? you can't even get into hospital via an ambulance, you can't see a Doctor anymore, seriously, how has this country fallen this far, you can't even rely on a basic emergency service.


"An ambulance worker says "worse than ever" queues outside hospitals in Somerset and across the South West are "without doubt" leading to deaths."


"They explained she had a severe head injury and her leg was badly hurt but we were told it would be a 10-hour wait for an ambulance and we'd have to get her to hospital ourselves."


"A total of 15 ambulances were seen queuing outside Southend Hospital today with the new MP branding it as a "totally unacceptable situation."


"Heart attack and stroke patients waiting almost an hour for ambulances in West Midlands"


"Inspectors have said the number of ambulances waiting outside the Royal Cornwall Hospital is a major issue."

119970658-rcht.jpg



This /\ is a picture of my local hospital, Where's the public outcry? this should be on the front page of every newspaper? All these Ambulances sitting there that should be available for other emergencies.
We have a freedom of movement deal with india now, hopeful that will start to kick in soon and fill the vacancies in the NHS.
 
Associate
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Sadly there is no shortage of people who'll call for an ambulance because they fancy a bit of a chat and some attention and don't give a **** someone might be lying in the road dying for want of an ambulance.
Only had to call an ambulance twice in my life, last year and the 1st time a decade ago for a double spiral fracture of the tibia and fibula. The broken leg was a wait of 13 odd hours until I was fully 'booked in' at the hospital, wait times have always been a bit **** really.
 
Associate
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I've always thought this was a pretty terrible excuse. Not the paramedics' fault, but more the call handling / dispatch system.

I get that some people lie about being seriously injured when they aren't just to get an ambulance out or whatever and you can't really do much about that. However some people ring up and tell the truth about what s happened. If 999 (or more likely 111) decide to send an ambulance for someone with a minor injury then that's on them. Simple answer is that if someone rings up with an injury that doesn't need an ambulance then don't send them one. Tell them to get the bus or a taxi to the nearest urgent care centre.
I'm more surprised that the NHS don't push the 111 service more if I'm honest.
 
Soldato
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I'm more surprised that the NHS don't push the 111 service more if I'm honest.
I think the 111 service can be part of the problem. From anecdotal evidence, people often seem to ring up 111 with a minor problem not necessarily wanting an ambulance (in many cases after being unable to get a GP appointment) and then it's the 111 service that decides to send them an ambulance because their software tool says so.
 
Soldato
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Too many pen pushers, too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

I feel sorry for the staff on the shop floor, I really do. They do their best.

The NHS is ******, plain and simple.

The problem is do you rely on it or go private? Private is expensive as I guess it isn't mainstream in this country, I genuinely don't know if letting it all go private would be better, obviously for some it would not.
 
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I think the 111 service can be part of the problem. From anecdotal evidence, people often seem to ring up 111 with a minor problem not necessarily wanting an ambulance (in many cases after being unable to get a GP appointment) and then it's the 111 service that decides to send them an ambulance because their software tool says so.

The 111 service is part of the problem because as you say local doctors surgeries are failing people, it's practically impossible to get an appointment at my local Doctors, local Doctors should be the first port of call to help create a buffer for the hospitals.
 
Soldato
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What’s changed in the last few years that it’s got to this stage where people are dying waiting for an ambulance or to be seen.

My mate broke his arm at a footy much a few years ago, ambulance was round in 30mins or less and was seen to in a few hours.

For as long as I can remember the nhs has always been something to be proud of, just seems like these last few years it’s all gone to hell.

What factors are we looking at, population increase, lack of staff, the government or a combination of all.

I don’t remember it being this bad under labour.
 
Soldato
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The 111 service is part of the problem because as you say local doctors surgeries are failing people, it's practically impossible to get an appointment at my local Doctors, local Doctors should be the first port of call to help create a buffer for the hospitals.

I had tonsillitis a few months ago, swollen a lot to the point I was finding it difficult to talk.

All I needed was antibiotics, I know the symptoms been there many times before. Was nigh impossible to get hold of GP, couldn’t even get a over the phone emergency appointment.

Had to call 111, they asked if I was finding it difficult to breath and I said kind of due to the swelling but nothing severe. There first port of call was to send a ambulance which I had to persuade them not to explaining it was nothing life endangering.

Anyhow got antibiotics prescription from 111 telephone doctor and within 48hrs was nearly back to full health.

I think when pharmacies get the power to prescribe things should get a lot better.
 
Associate
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Christ all the hyperbole around privatisation there aren’t just two health care systems in the world. It’s not a decision between NHS and ‘murica. Get a grip. This reactionary crap is the reason the NHS is still a terrible dinosaur. It’s a political religion and anyone who wants to change it (for the better!!!) is blaspheming. Go look at the best health care systems in the world, they’re not like the NHS and they’re not like America.
This is true. I know in Cyprus they recently (1-2 years) introduced a system similar to the NHS, but all (or nearly all) the private doctors/clinics signed up (private health care is pretty large in Cyprus) and you can basically go private by getting a referral from your GP (who is also private anyway) . You only pay 3 or 6 euros each time you get seen by a doctor, and I believe you have an upper limit of 150 euros per year, after which you pay full price. Not free like the NHS, but fairly cheap.
 
Soldato
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We have a freedom of movement deal with india now, hopeful that will start to kick in soon and fill the vacancies in the NHS.
Unless something massive has changed recently we don't have a free movement deal with India?

As I understand it there are points based / 'labour market test' immigration controls for Indian migrants, but up to 3000 students and professionals get to bypass the system every year for up to two years under the special deal?

The NHS has been sending recruitment expeditions to the third world for years now to recruit their nurses etc, and there are well worn immigration routes for them. It's not been enough so far though.

I guess opening up immigration for lower skilled jobs like healthcare assistants and emergency care assistants could help, but recruitment for them isn't such an issue really AFAIK.

Part of the problem is simply that even if all vacancies were filled with qualified staff capacity would still be short because the system is undersized for the demands placed on it. High vacancy rates exacerbate the problems but don't cause them.
 
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What was stopping someone driving him to the hospital? Lots of people call ambulances when there are better alternatives.

I used to work in a hospital FWIW.

He was in a very bad way sicking up blood all the time, couldn't stand up etc, it's not as simple as you think to just 'pop him in the car', your first instinct in this scenario is to ring an ambulance, and I believe the right one, the service should've of been there.
 
Caporegime
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What’s changed in the last few years that it’s got to this stage where people are dying waiting for an ambulance or to be seen.

My mate broke his arm at a footy much a few years ago, ambulance was round in 30mins or less and was seen to in a few hours.

For as long as I can remember the nhs has always been something to be proud of, just seems like these last few years it’s all gone to hell.

What factors are we looking at, population increase, lack of staff, the government or a combination of all.

I don’t remember it being this bad under labour.

Too many beds being taken up by people who shouldn't be in them but can't be discharged as they have nowhere to go.
 
Soldato
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A big problem is that the government has thoroughly shafted current doctors and nurses - maybe other staff too - with regards to pensions and possibly tax. I don't know the details; I do know that the wife of a friend is affected. But the upshot is that staff who do want to work more are penalised for doing so.
 
Man of Honour
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Was nigh impossible to get hold of GP, couldn’t even get a over the phone emergency appointment.

Pretty screwed around me if you need a GP as well - mine is still sending out text messages saying "you will be prioritised by medical need" but unless you can convince them it is utterly urgent you are on your own...
 
Soldato
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The worst one I saw was that the head of the ambulance service in a certain area (can't remember where) had a stroke and her husband knew to drive her to hospital rather than call for an ambulance, because he knew they would otherwise be waiting hours and time is essential when it comes to strokes.

Edit, found it.

Similar experience here, we rang for an ambulance for my dad as he'd collapsed while out walking the dog, was violently ill and lost strength on his left side. We called 999 to first BE PUT ON HOLD - on the emergency line - before being disconnected. Had to ring back again multiple times to even speak to an operator. We got through about 1pm in the afternoon and the ambulance finally arrived at 10pm. Even then, when he got to the hospital he sat in the ambulance for about 45 minutes waiting to be signed over.

Thankfully it was a TIA and not a full-on stroke, so he's fully recovered, but the point is the same. If you need an ambulance, don't even bother.

To me, part of the issue is that there no local ambulance depots any more. They all come from central 'hubs' which means they have to travel much further, and cover a larger area using less staff. It's a joke. IIRC the guys which attended us in MK came from North London, over 50 miles away.
 
Soldato
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It will end up privatised I'm sure.
It'll be gradual at first. But eventually it'll be like the USA.
What I find amazing is that people don't know the ambulance service has already been privatised.

My sister is an ambulance tech. The whole NHS has been systematically dismantled by the Conservatives....but this is what people vote for.
 
Man of Honour
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What I find amazing is that people don't know the ambulance service has already been privatised.

My sister is an ambulance tech. The whole NHS has been systematically dismantled by the Conservatives....but this is what people vote for.

Are they all privatised? we seem to have two types around here - the Mercedes Sprinter type ones which seem to be NHS and the Fiat Ducato style ones which I noticed have signage which would indicate they are run by a private company.
 
Soldato
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What I find amazing is that people don't know the ambulance service has already been privatised.

My sister is an ambulance tech. The whole NHS has been systematically dismantled by the Conservatives....but this is what people vote for.

I didn't know that. Which private corporation owns the Ambulance Service now?
 
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