Friday 10 May 2013

Poster Boy

"36 year old male, diabetic problems"

This winds me up! Diabetic problems?! Could they be any more vague! That could literally mean anything. The patient could be hyperglycaemic, hypoglycaemic, have retinopathy, diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar non-ketonic coma, renal failure, some kind of neuropathy problem, who knows! How are you supposed to prepare for a job if you have nothing to go on! Anyway, rant aside, off I went. Within a few minutes I was outside the house and ready to walk into the unknown.

After navigating my way past the 3 cars on the driveway (1x new Golf, 1 x Porsche Boxter and 1 x BMW X5) I knocked on the door. You'd think that when you dial 999 you'd be prepared for the imminent arrival of an ambulance or some kind of responder. It should never, ever, take over a minute to answer the doors unless the patient is disabled or frail. Anyway, annoyance at the delay aside, the door was eventually opened by the patient. He was well dressed, well spoken and going by the furnishings and accessories in the house he certainly wasn't short of a few quid! I followed him through to the lavish kitchen.

"What's the problem today sir?"

"I just need my blood sugar levels checked."

"OK, but why? Are you diabetic? Are you unwell?"

"I don't think I'm unwell, I mean I feel fine. I'm a tablet controlled diabetic."

"OK, but what did you need an emergency ambulance for?"

"To check my blood sugar! Keep up!" he chuckled.....

"I get that, but why do you think your blood sugar level needs checking if you're feeling fine?"

"Because I'm supposed to monitor my sugar levels and I've lost my test kit."

"So you've lost your kit, so phoned us to get your blood sugar checked?"

"Exactly!" he said in a condescending manor.

"I will check your blood sugar but do you really think it's an appropriate use of the service? You could have just gone and bought another one."

"Who do you think you are to tell me what I can and can't do? Lets not forget that I pay your wages."

Oh, he went THERE. I bit my tongue, did his blood sugar, cancelled the crew who were on route and offered him a full check over through the most hideous fake smile I could muster. Thankfully he refused. He signed my paperwork and I left without even receiving a thank you. I was surprised he didn't pat me on the head and say 'good dog'.

I sat in the car, heart pounding, steam coming out of my ear and a vein pulsating on my forehead! I was livid. Why is this tolerated? Why can nothing be done about it? Why can people be so rude and disrespectful. Then it all clicked into place. The nice cars, the nice house, the elitist attitude, the disrespect......and the Vote Tory poster in the window. How did I miss THAT when arrived?! I should have known I'm just a public servant.

We're all in this together!


  1. Only just recently stumbled across your blog, love it! Keep up the good work (in all senses!)

  2. Not surprised you're pissed off, but a bit concerned about judgements being made re cars etc. before meeting - rich people entitled to all NHS care too (even tory wankers).


    1. Lets keep it breezy, it was just a bit tongue in cheek bud

    2. Anonymous, you really are a Richard Head! This guy was obviously another Tory toff with an over-inflated sense of entitlement because he is minted of the "I pay your wages kind" - do these wankers never stop thinks that we pay tax too (and in my case, in spades - g'damn 40%). He is typical. If the stereotype cap fits... no harm in Ella writing about it!

  3. How did this get past the dispatcher? If they accepted such vague information from an obviously not critical patient then it sounds like there's a training/systemic issue. If he lied to them to get you to come out, then there should be a recording and he should be done for "wasting ambulance time" the same way people get done for wasting police time.

    I understand that there needs to be a careful balance drawn between trying to filter out the tosspots from the the genuine callers (and we should err on the side of attending to a few tosspots to make sure we don't miss genuine calls) but this seems a bit too far in the tosspot direction to have been missed.

  4. How did that even get through to you like that? Not blaming the call taker at all but do they not try and get more information and then triage? The guy sounds like an over indulged idiot. Mind you if the Tories get their way we will soon have to pay for services. He can call his own personal medic however many times he can afford then. Those who really need it won't be able to afford it. Meanwhile they are getting Obamacare in the US.

  5. Hi Ella, I know exactly how you feel with this and it is something which blows my mind. If nothing else, this job shows that whilst the public think all social 'scumbags' are at the poor end of the spectrum, there are equally the same in the posh end... I have found myself having less control on keeping quiet to this bs recently. That's not a good thing but if there's one trigger that gets me, its the "i pay your wages" arguement.
    Buttered. ;-)

  6. I respect your professional attitude, however he should have been reported for abusing the 999 system and to both his GP and Diabetic Clinic/Consultant. Love the Blog keep it up!!

  7. It would be nice for you to be able to do a quick about turn and walk out with a "It's not an emergency" thrown carelessly over your shoulder. What would be even nicer is if you did this management would have the balls to back you up. Unfortunately it is unlikely that the second option will ever happen if you invoke the first.

  8. When they (MPs, Bankers, Highly paid executives, etc) say "We are all in this together!" they don't mean you or me. They are indeed all in it together and its up to the rest of us to know our place.

  9. What a total wankbag!
    You have my total respect for continuing to keep professional when you deal with call outs like this, I'd have lost the plot long ago!

  10. I agree with Ian Smith, Muddyrunning, SomeBloke, and Kath Bee

    Well done on treating this idiot professionally! I couldn't have done (were I in your job) it.

    I know that everyone is and should be, looked after by the NHS regardless of income but frankly wankers like that, who are perfectly well and more than capapble of going to buy a new kit rather than waste your time really should be billed for the services they recieve - after all its what they want for the rest of us ;-)

  11. Ella, your blogs are really incredible. Thank you for taking the time.

  12. it's not realized the extent to which diabetics can get a subtle early dementia, his behavior was outlandish and imo he is moving into that area !

  13. Well done on biting your tongue, I'd have let him have it at the 'wages' point starting with how he has just wasted £150 of 'his' taxpayers money on something that is £10 in Boots and free from the manufacturer!


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