It’s becoming a hot topic these days. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-12424391, although there is more than likely, as is usually the case, more to the story than is being blasted out by the hand-wringing Press as they attempt to sling as much mud at us as possible so that the Big-Brother loving public can point a finger and say ‘bad people’ in a really loud voice, thus freeing themselves from any sense of responsibility for seeking the truth through facts.
As I said before, if that Service’s policy is not interrupt a crew’s (legally imposed) break then why is it a critical matter in this case? If an ambulance crew were busy on another call at the time, let’s say a drunken teenager outside a bar who is ‘unconscious’ (category A), would they be criticised for that?
And the solo paramedic simply wasn’t allowed to go near the scene. If the Control Room bod hears anything going on in the background of a call, or sees anything suspicious on the screen, then the responder will be told to stay back until the scene is made safe. Our remit is to save lives, yes but not at the cost of our own – we are not soldiers and if we try to behave like soldiers, we get heavily criticised and have no recourse, in terms of compensation, when we get injured as a result of ignoring this order.
None of us want to sit around waiting while someone is suffering of course and I think that’s why the paramedic went in on her own anyway but it’s clear that the atmosphere was less than accommodating and the situation would not have been helped if there were angry, shouting people around.
I’ve gone into a pub on my own, with a cardiac arrest patient on the floor and I had to physically move people out of my way because, as I attempted to help the patient, grown men with no sense of decency, were barging across me to get to the bar… to order drinks!
Again, it is extremely sad that someone lost their life in such circumstances but not all of these tragedies are the result of emergency service personnel incompetence; some of them, when the details are looked at closely, are predictable and caused by external influences.
And here it comes…. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/feb/17/nhs-hospitals-axeing-frontline-staff. If anybody actually believed that we would escape this financial disaster, they were fooling themselves. There simply isn’t enough money to support a huge system like the NHS. Nobody is safe and I suspect that in the next two to three years, things will be much worse. We have an impossible debt to clear – it will take generations to cut because it isn’t just a few tens of billions, it’s not even a few hundreds of billions – it’s trillions of pounds. We will limp back to normality, not with a cleared account and a zero debt balance, but rather with a reduced debt on which we can scavenge a sustainable society while we whittle it down by degrees over the next hundred years! We are much like a person who gets so far into debt with credit cards that he takes out more credit cards to clear it, whilst cutting back on essentials to make enough money to pay the interest.
What we need to do is go to a friendly debt-clearing planet and ask the well-off aliens for a repayment plan; it will cost us 2% of the debt plus we won’t be able to borrow for seven years because our credit rating will be mashed. Or we could stop spending so much money on so much rubbish. We could start by telling drunken idiots to pay for their own ambulance transport and hospitalisation; that would save us a few quid – and by sacking everyone involved in the ‘there is no Christmas’ conspiracy.