Tuesday 1 November 2011

Chasing tails

"55 year old female, Collapsed outside, intoxicated"

The call was nothing special and certainly nothing out of the norm. It was however 3 hours old. We accepted the job are started trundling towards it voicing the usual moans and groans about the LOB we were about to 'help'!

During the moaning our radio rang. The 'all seeing eye' in the Ivory Tower had an update for us:

"Just to advise the patient isn't outside number 49, they are inside number 26. The caller claims we are no longer required as the patient was just drunk and has now gone to bed, however, we can't confirm this as the patient isn't answering her phone so you will have to attend to confirm she is ok"

What are we doing? Is this what the ambulance service is for? We can't even be annoyed with the patient, she got drunk, made here own way home and now some top bods in control want to use an ambulance to check on her! No one checks on me! Do they not know why she isn't answering the phone? I'm assuming they are looking for an answer more complex than BECAUSE SHE IS PISSED!! What a waste of bloody time.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. We pulled up at the estate entrance, glanced the the map which may as well be in hieroglyphics and tried to navigate a path through the rabbit warren of poorly labeled and numbered flats. Eventually we found it, on foot I may add. We knocked......nothing. We knocked again.....nothing. We informed 'the brain' that there was no answer. After a slight pause we were told the police were on route as it may be a collapsed behind closed doors! Amazing! More resources wasted! After a 40 minute wait for police they arrived. Using their universal key (a big red lump of metal) we were in.

And there she was......in all her glory, naked on her bed. Lush! Fast asleep. Shocker! We woke her, got a torrent of verbal abuse and left. In all, at a cost to the tax payer, an ambulance and 2 police cars were utilised on this and to what end? Who is making these decisions? A member of the public had called it in and subsequently cancelled. When the service is under so much pressure to meet targets and respond to the huge volume of  calls a day, is chasing our tails really the best use of an ambulance? This was quite simply an arse covering exercise but to what extent will we be offering this service! Will every no trace have a full search and rescue, will every non conveyed have routine ambulance follow ups or will someone for once just have the balls to say no!

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