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Well thatís a pretty damning assessment

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Well thatís a pretty damning assessment

Old 28th Apr 2022, 22:32
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Well thatís a pretty damning assessment

Says a lot really as to how bad itís getting. Sigh

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-61259752
An NHS boss who had a stroke was taken to A&E by her husband rather than calling for an ambulance because of concerns over long waits.

In a series of tweets, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Deborah Lee praised his swift actions.

She said he had "bundled her into his car", last week, after she had showed the signs of a stroke because he had heard her "lamenting ambulance delays".

She is recovering but says it may have been different if they had called 999.

'Eternally grateful'

Waits for an ambulance in England are the longest since new targets were introduced, in 2017.

And Ms Lee's regional service - the South West - has the longest waits in the country, with category-two calls, which include strokes, taking nearly two hours, on average, to reach patients in March.

The target is 18 minutes.

In the tweets, Ms Lee said: "Naturally, I am eternally grateful to my husband for his swift actionsÖ but I can't get one thing out of my head.

"What if my husband hadn't been there and my daughter had called for an ambulance and I'd been put in the cat[egory]-two stack?"

She went on to say it was not the fault of the ambulance service and the whole system was "working unrelentingly to this but to no great avail".

Ms Lee said hospitals were struggling to discharge patients, because of a lack of social care, and so delays were building up in the rest of the system.
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Old 28th Apr 2022, 22:37
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Things would be a lot better if ambulances were not being called out for paper cuts and the like, or clogging up call centres with pizza orders.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 01:25
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When every minute counts, and you know exactly where to go, it makes sense to drive the patient directly to the ER rather than wait for an ambulance to get dispatched, find your location, and then and only then begin transport to the closest small time hospital, which is not necessarily the same as the most appropriate ER.

Give the ER a heads up via cell phone to let them know youíre on your way with an emergency, even if it is illegal to use the mobile while driving.

If it is a life or death situation, getting to an ER matters more than anything.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 02:08
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Thank goodness things are (usually) better here. SWMBO had an apparent minor stroke - slurred speech the main symptom.. I rang the emergency number and the ambulance was here within the target 8 minutes. I reckon the dispatcher had them on the road as soon as I started describing the symptoms. She then went into AF on the way, so they stopped and treated that.
We live in suburban Sydney. Had we lived in a rural area, or even a medium sized country town, I'm sure the service wouldn't have been anywhere as fast, the equipment in the ambulance would not have been as good and the facilities at the hospital would be less able to deal with the incident.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 04:00
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Originally Posted by visibility3miles View Post
When every minute counts, and you know exactly where to go, it makes sense to drive the patient directly to the ER rather than wait for an ambulance to get dispatched, find your location, and then and only then begin transport to the closest small time hospital, which is not necessarily the same as the most appropriate ER.

Give the ER a heads up via cell phone to let them know youíre on your way with an emergency, even if it is illegal to use the mobile while driving.

If it is a life or death situation, getting to an ER matters more than anything.
Spot on, it's not as though he "had" to bundle her into his car, he chose to as the better option time-wise.
Would you really "bundle" a sick person? I would think you would handle them as gently as possible.
UK sensationalist journalism strikes again.
Our public are gullible too, often taking one example of something not going as well as it could have as a measuring stick for a whole service or organisation.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 05:49
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She's wrong about categorisation of a stroke. Suspected strokes are always cat 1 dispatched in all NHS trusts, she'd have had an ambulance or most likely a response car there within minutes, and would have been under treatment immediately - ambulances aren't simply transport to hospital. Her choice of actions put her at risk if she really was suffering stroke symptoms, going by car undoubtedly delays treatment.
This is far from a damning assessment, it's sensationalist stirring by someone who should know better and it doesn't help anyone. I suspect the more accurate story is that the paramedic on dispatch knew she wasn't ticking any of the "stroke" boxes and was merely feeling unwell. It looks like she self-diagnosed, wrongly, and the dispatcher saw no flags to make it an emergency.

And dispatchers very, very much err on the side of caution. Any single red flag and it's cat 1.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 11:02
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A couple of months ago, after an operation for bladder cancer, I had a major problem with bleeding and urine retention. Very messy and painful. I called the NHS on 111. at about 0530 and was told someone would call back. Being a Saturday, the number for the hospital department didn't answer, so in desperation, at 1030, I called 999 and asked for the ambulance service. Note this is the South West, and we are pretty rural here - the shortest route to the hospital is about 8 miles. It took 20 minutes from placing the call to having the ambulance arrive. The downside was that their blood pressure meter didn't work so they had to use mine which they found very ironic!.

The 111 people called back - at 2330 that night - at a time when I had been admitted for some 8hours and was in a bed in the assessment ward of the hospital!!

So the ambulance service did very well but 111 - NO! The other useless lot are the 119 service for Covid vaccination - anyone without a mobile 'phone or internet cannot contact them! They obviously are true 'townies' who do not realise that there is a lot of the country especially rural areas with no mobile coverage or 'not spots' as Ofcom
call them.
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Old 1st May 2022, 15:26
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When every minute counts, and you know exactly where to go, it makes sense to drive the patient directly to the ER rather than wait for an ambulance to get dispatched, find your location, and then and only then begin transport to the closest small time hospital, which is not necessarily the same as the most appropriate ER.
Well not always. When my wife had nasty fall in our kitchen last September at 6.30 pm one evening, I was fairly sure she had fractured her hip, as she was stiil recovering form doing exactly the same thing six months earlier. I dialled 999 and was told there was likely to be a lengthy wait for an ambulance,and I might like to consider putting her in the car and driving her to A & E? Really? With a possible fractured hip? Bear in mind that these operators are not medically trained. I elected to make her as comfortable as possible and wait

And wait - and wait - and wait .

At 0830 the next morning I spoke to our GP who was horrified that we had already been waiting for 14 hours and she contacted the emergency services to try and speed things up. The ambulance finally arrived at 1230, after an 18 hour wait. I have to say that the paramedics were brilliant and got her off to the local A & E in quick time. They told me that there was an average number of 25 ambulances tied up in queue at A & E, but on arrival my wife was admitted straight away, was operated on for the fractured hip the following morning and has made a good recovery.

I subsequently found out that Cornwall, whose population trebles during the summer months had actually been allocated TWO extra ambulances to cope with the extra demand!
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Old 2nd May 2022, 04:34
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Originally Posted by Laarbruch72 View Post
She's wrong about categorisation of a stroke. Suspected strokes are always cat 1 dispatched in all NHS trusts, she'd have had an ambulance or most likely a response car there within minutes, and would have been under treatment immediately - ambulances aren't simply transport to hospital. Her choice of actions put her at risk if she really was suffering stroke symptoms, going by car undoubtedly delays treatment.
This is far from a damning assessment, it's sensationalist stirring by someone who should know better and it doesn't help anyone. I suspect the more accurate story is that the paramedic on dispatch knew she wasn't ticking any of the "stroke" boxes and was merely feeling unwell. It looks like she self-diagnosed, wrongly, and the dispatcher saw no flags to make it an emergency.

And dispatchers very, very much err on the side of caution. Any single red flag and it's cat 1.
Thanks for that. Itís a really important point. NHS ambulances are not just taxis to get you to treatment; treatment starts when they arrive. And especially for some common and serious things like stroke or heart attack, there are very well worked out protocols to get critical treatment started as fast as possible which has a huge impact on the outcome.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 08:39
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Originally Posted by Laarbruch72 View Post
She's wrong about categorisation of a stroke. Suspected strokes are always cat 1 dispatched in all NHS trusts, she'd have had an ambulance or most likely a response car there within minutes, and would have been under treatment immediately - ambulances aren't simply transport to hospital. Her choice of actions put her at risk if she really was suffering stroke symptoms, going by car undoubtedly delays treatment.
This is far from a damning assessment, it's sensationalist stirring by someone who should know better and it doesn't help anyone. I suspect the more accurate story is that the paramedic on dispatch knew she wasn't ticking any of the "stroke" boxes and was merely feeling unwell. It looks like she self-diagnosed, wrongly, and the dispatcher saw no flags to make it an emergency.

And dispatchers very, very much err on the side of caution. Any single red flag and it's cat 1.
Your post puts matters into perspective.

Four times last year I dialled 999....the dispatchers first question, every time, was "is the patient breathing ? "..once confirmed, they subsequently asked more detailed questions about the symptoms .

The ambulances arrived within about 15 mins each time...with blue lights...and left again once the consummate professionals, the paramedics, and a special mention here for the selfish social sewage who leave notes on their windscreens complaining about where the ambulance has parked, who attack them, and who block them when driving by virtue of ignoring the lights and sirens, or pull out in front of them ( as seen a couple of weeks ago when "Big Dazza" in its 20 tonne HGV aggregate vehicle did just that) had completed their initial treatment and diagnosis left, again with blue lights...and noise.

The report seems to be more about attention seeking and deflecting attention from the managerial failings of NHS Trusts ..in comparison to the quality of the professional medical care and treatment demonstrated by NHS staff.

TTN...nice to learn your wife was treated and recovered.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 08:53
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post

I subsequently found out that Cornwall, whose population trebles during the summer months had actually been allocated TWO extra ambulances to cope with the extra demand!
And there are only 15 intensive care beds in the county. Moreover, given the state of the roads, it can be a long ride to get to one, which is why the Air Ambulance is such a popular charity.
Oops, aviation content.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 09:20
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Things would be a lot better if ambulances were not being called out for paper cuts and the like, or clogging up call centres with pizza orders.
You are so right!

The NHS 111 phone service is essentially an "ambulance hailing service", on the one occasion that I have called it an ambulance duly arrive, similar for my future son in law, and on each occasion when my elderly mother's care home called it an ambulance duly arrived, when what was really required was a call from a qualified doctor or nurse practitioner.

If "Emergency Ambulances" were used for emergencies, then not only would fewer ambulances be called out, but A&E might become less clogged with as you put it, paper cuts.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 09:21
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
And there are only 15 intensive care beds in the county. Moreover, given the state of the roads, it can be a long ride to get to one, which is why the Air Ambulance is such a popular charity.
Oops, aviation content.
Which raises another question. Why should an essential service such as the air ambulance be funded by charity? Same goes for the RNLI, and perhaps, but not quite so justifiably, the mountain rescue services.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 09:44
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ATNotts,

I seem to remember in the dim and distant past of around 60 years or more ago that MRT teams were often referred to as RAF Mountain Rescue. Or am I mistaken? Air Ambulance, MRT and lifeboats - which aren't all RNLI - do deserve public funding
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Old 2nd May 2022, 09:47
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Which raises another question. Why should an essential service such as the air ambulance be funded by charity? Same goes for the RNLI, and perhaps, but not quite so justifiably, the mountain rescue services.
You have a valid point, however, given the policies of this Gov't are to reduce spending and funding, transferring the onus and blame onto Local Authorities, it's possibly just as well those organisations you mention above are not Gov't funded.

I would say though, that, MRT's are equally fully justified in being funded. They are volunteers, on call, 24 / 7 every day of the year and their call outs are increasing due, in many cases, to the stupidity of those who are totally unprepared and equipped for the environments they venture into.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 10:02
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When I was on a Mountain Leadership course, we visited the local MRT. Most of the students on the course were upset to learn that the MRT teams were unpaid volunteers, but the team members much preferred it that way. The imagination boggles at a Health and Safety review of a mountain rescue, never mind the bureaucracy that would be involved in a salaried/employed situation.
I understand that many MRTs get some equipment funding from local government, and of course the helicopters etc. are government/taxpayer funded.
Agree that the demands on the volunteers' time can be excessive.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 12:32
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Originally Posted by DType View Post
Agree that the demands on the volunteers' time can be excessive.
I was stationed at Kinloss for my last 7 years in the RAF. One of the guys on my Flt was in the MRT.

If I recall correctly the expectation was that married members of the MRT would dedicate 2 out of 4 weekends to training with the team, single team members were expected to do 3 out of 4 weekends.

Basically finish work Friday, go to the MR section, get changed, loaded up in the wagons and off to the hills until Sunday evening.

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