COMMENT: Answers still needed over long wait for an ambulance

Banbury Cake: . .

FOR 99 per cent of us the ambulance service – like the police and fire service – are guardian angels, swooping in to help us in times of need.

And they do so under tremendous moments of stress.

We employ in our emergency services human beings, not robots. And at times they will get things wrong.

There is credit for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) for its admission that events went terribly wrong following the call by the family of Clive Gould after he developed breathing problems.

The seriousness of the condition was not recognised and an ambulance did not arrive for 90 minutes. Mr Gould died despite attempts then to save him.

Ninety minutes is an exceptionally long time to wait after calling 999. The question has to be, no matter the misunderstanding over the seriousness, why SCAS was not able to get an ambulance to Mr Gould quicker than in 90 minutes at 4am.

Mr Gould lived in West Oxfordshire, an area where there have long been concerns about ambulance response times. Earlier this year David Cameron raised his worries about ambulances getting to those in rural areas in time.

We hope SCAS will be able to further enlighten us over this key issue.

If it did not have enough ambulances at 4am to react to a dying man then it needs to admit this.

It is only through that knowledge that we can all press authorities to ensure there is not another case like Clive Gould.

Comments (3)

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10:00am Fri 13 Dec 13

frontline999 says...

This is a tragic story in every way.
Ambulances have been reduced at night and those staff working are running from call to call without a break and sometimes without any meal break, although this occurrence is rarer now, a missed meal break still happens.
Staff are becoming sick and exhausted from the sheer volume of calls attended in the night. Staff always work relentless to help patients, as soon as the patient is delivered into the correct care pathway, the vehicle clears the incident and then is immediately sent out on another emergency.
This is true of day shifts also. Day crews are pushed to breaking point, dealing with inappropriate 111 calls, which divert front line crews to deal with common illnesses like colds, flu, back aches etc ..... on most occasions its simply a case of the 999 crews making routine gp appointments or ooh's appointments, something which could be done at the outset without the need for 999 frontline crew involvment.
All ambulance and front line personnel work tirelessly to try to do their best for every patient.
Its simple there are not enough staffed vehicles to deal with emergencies both night and day!
This is a tragic story in every way. Ambulances have been reduced at night and those staff working are running from call to call without a break and sometimes without any meal break, although this occurrence is rarer now, a missed meal break still happens. Staff are becoming sick and exhausted from the sheer volume of calls attended in the night. Staff always work relentless to help patients, as soon as the patient is delivered into the correct care pathway, the vehicle clears the incident and then is immediately sent out on another emergency. This is true of day shifts also. Day crews are pushed to breaking point, dealing with inappropriate 111 calls, which divert front line crews to deal with common illnesses like colds, flu, back aches etc ..... on most occasions its simply a case of the 999 crews making routine gp appointments or ooh's appointments, something which could be done at the outset without the need for 999 frontline crew involvment. All ambulance and front line personnel work tirelessly to try to do their best for every patient. Its simple there are not enough staffed vehicles to deal with emergencies both night and day! frontline999

10:16am Fri 13 Dec 13

bicesterlady says...

Some things can cope with service cuts. Frontline ambulances are not one of
Some things can cope with service cuts. Frontline ambulances are not one of bicesterlady

10:48am Fri 13 Dec 13

Mark L. says...

My best mate is a paramedic, and he says that there are simply not, and never have been enough Paramedics/Ambulance
s to fully cover rural areas. Many of the 999 calls he attends are people suffering from drink/drugs and many are time wasters, knowing exactly off pat what to say to the call handler to get an ambulance to them even when they do not require them. They do the best they can under extremely difficult circumstances, and I wouldn't do his job for ten times his wage., which is not enough in my book.
My best mate is a paramedic, and he says that there are simply not, and never have been enough Paramedics/Ambulance s to fully cover rural areas. Many of the 999 calls he attends are people suffering from drink/drugs and many are time wasters, knowing exactly off pat what to say to the call handler to get an ambulance to them even when they do not require them. They do the best they can under extremely difficult circumstances, and I wouldn't do his job for ten times his wage., which is not enough in my book. Mark L.

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