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

Soldato
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20 Dec 2004
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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.
I didn't know that. Which private corporation owns the Ambulance Service now?
There are lots of different private service providers. I don't know what the proportions are exactly, but it's not an outlier.....a large portion of the ambulance service now exists to line shareholder pockets.
 
Soldato
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Essex
I had to call 999 for my dad who fell and knocked himself out at the weekend and was put in a hold queue, which said wait times for an ambulance were hours. Just drove him to A+E in the end but I had no idea if it was OK to move him or not or if he'd even had a stroke. 111 also had a hold queue. Luckily he was fine in the end.
 
Soldato
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I've been saying the NHS doesn't exist for a long time. People whine about it going private, but private is better than nothing. I've had to use private healthcare for years anyway, usually get it via work, and the dentist has never been free at the point of use.

I'm sure private is great if you can afford it* or get it through work. People working minimum wage jobs in supermarkets or as cleaners are unlikely to fall into either of those categories.

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.

Was about to post this - nothing wrong with a hybrid system where you pay a nominal fee - something affordable, but enough to act as a deterrent to misuse, e.g. if you had to pay £10 up front to see a doctor, I can guarantee you the number of of missed and unnecessary appointments would plummet overnight.

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 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.
I think the problem here is that 111 staff only have the most basic of medical training, like you say, they put your symptoms into the system and computer says "send an ambulance" because even though 9 times out of 10 it won't be necessary, they can't risk missing that 1/10.
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.
Quite the opposite. Private is cheap in this country because even if you have private healthcare, the vast majority of treatment is done on the NHS. If you're injured in a car crash, you don't call Bupa - you call 999. If you have a funny lump on your arm, you don't call Vitality - you go to your GP. If you then get a referral, then you go to your private healthcare provider.

Comparing costs of UK to the US.

When I got a quote with Vitality a couple of years ago, it was just over £1200/year for a family plan - 2 adults, 2 kids.
Results of a quick search for average health insurance cost in the USA vary between $3-$7k for an individual, and $10-20k for a family plan.


* until you can't because you had to make a claim last year and this year's premium has trebled.
 
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There are lots of different private service providers. I don't know what the proportions are exactly, but it's not an outlier.....a large portion of the ambulance service now exists to line shareholder pockets.

This is the problem when you break up the NHS into different private service providers, it doesn't become cost efficient at all, they all end becoming 'for profit' and creaming off the top, prime exmaple right now with NHS having record funding but no real improvements because the money gets hoovered up.


"More than £96bn of health service funding has gone to non-NHS providers of care over the last decade, including private firms such as Virgin Care, research has revealed.

The amount of money flowing out of the NHS in England to for-profit companies, voluntary groups and not-for-profits has grown from £8.4bn in 2010 to £14.4bn last year – a 72% jump."
 
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Man of Honour
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Stoke on Trent
It's exactly the same at our A&E because I ride past it and have access to the data.
We still have 200+ patients with Covid with more arriving every day and obviously some being discharged.
We have many staff off due to Covid related issues which means the ambulances just get backed up because Paramedics can't just leave them at A&E.
Just had a quick look and we have 107 patients admitted into A&E with a 4 hour wait which is ridiculous amount and you wonder why the ambulances are backed up.
A good 40% will be alcohol related and a % will be frequent flyers.
If I remember I'll look at the figures later but we are getting at least 50% more patients than what we can handle.
Several years ago we set up a new department for 'the walking wounded' called Ambulatory Care to cater for 30 patients a day and they are getting around 150 a day.

Earlier this year I was on business in A&E when I heard a bloke going mad because he'd drove 5 miles to A&E for a 5 hour wait only to be told to go back to his local Chemist and buy some Paracetamol. I nearly removed my ID and pretended to be a patient to have a go at him.
 
Soldato
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Was about to post this - nothing wrong with a hybrid system where you pay a nominal fee - something affordable, but enough to act as a deterrent to misuse, e.g. if you had to pay £10 up front to see a doctor, I can guarantee you the number of of missed and unnecessary appointments would plummet overnight.

100% this should happen.
 
Soldato
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I guess this is what happens when you vote for a bunch of charlatans. Glad to see that £350m a week is going straight to the NHS like promised!

Not to worry though, the Tories will no doubt privatise the NHS soon enough, making millions for themselves and their mates, whilst making the services even worse than they are now.
Add to that a terrible response to the pandemic and the health service is holding on by a string. We all have to pray we won't need emergency care and cross our fingers.
 
Soldato
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Aberdeen
The amount of money flowing out of the NHS in England to for-profit companies, voluntary groups and not-for-profits has grown from £8.4bn in 2010 to £14.4bn last year – a 72% jump."

What that article doesn't tell you is that that is less than 10% of the NHS budget and that private sector spending - outsourcing - includes things like building hospitals, computer staff, and many other non-core functions.
 
Soldato
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It wouldn't work. There are simply some who could not afford that small outlay when they genuinely do need care.

I hate to say it but for the amount of problems it would solve my conscience could live with that.

I think there would be very few who genuinely couldn't afford £10 if you really needed it, and if it stops the NHS getting clogged by time wasters whilst people with genuine emergencies are dying, well..
 
Soldato
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I had apendicitis/burst apendix last year, almost died from infection...after 2 hours of waiting for an ambulance I lucklily managed to get a friend to drive me to A&E where I pretty much collapsed in reception, was still waiting another 2 hours in A&E in such pain you couldn't even imagine it.

A&E walk-ins have the same problem, people clogging it up with what is quite obviousy minor conditions.
 
Soldato
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What 350 million, the 350 million is being put towards the 800 million a week cost of leaving
You mean they lied? Shucks!

It’s not really a problem with the ambulance service though is it, it’s a problem with the NHS/hospitals not being able to take the patients hence the queues/backlogs.
 
Soldato
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9,121
It wouldn't work. There are simply some who could not afford that small outlay when they genuinely do need care.
Indeed plus small niggles reported to a gp can prevent medical issues escalating to more serious / expensive care.

The problem (well one of many) is the NHS hasn't grown with our aging population and now it is expected to deal with a pandemic and the backlog all at the same time. On top of that you have a social care system that is on its knees which slows down the release of elderly patients from hospital beds.
 
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Soldato
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Glasgow
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.


There are lots of providers out there but in the grand scheme of things, the vast majority of calls are answered by NHS ambulances.
 
Caporegime
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23 Dec 2011
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Northern England
What has caused the increase or is the increase due to a decrease in staff ? Something must be driving it
Absent staff. On top of that, certainly up here, they are still often working from home which really isn't as efficient. My GP is an example of this as is a close friend. He works in IT and they are currently dealing with a heck of a lot of provisions for staff who have been working from home and are now stating it has caused them back issues since they didn't have a proper chair and desk. They have been and are continuing to spend a fortune on ergonomic equipment and furniture.

More and more pressure on social services, again staff absences there too. Likely to be some similar causes.

Also the feckless seem to have become extra feckless over the last 2 years thus increasing pressures by turning up when they really shouldn't or hurting themselves/others.
 
Associate
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London
You mean they lied? Shucks!

It’s not really a problem with the ambulance service though is it, it’s a problem with the NHS/hospitals not being able to take the patients hence the queues/backlogs.
Maybe we should negotiate a freedom of movement deal with the EU to fill the gaps in our NHS. Why are we not flying in Ukrainian/Afgan Healthcare workers and doctors. lets take advantage while we can.
 
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