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Ambulance service in chaos

When serious illness strikes we all know that we can call 999 and help will be sent by way of an emergency ambulance. However what if something goes wrong and delays mean that urgently needed help does not come?

Well clearly the potential for loss of life is raised significantly and I am currently representing a family who tragically did lose a loved one after a very lengthy wait for an ambulance. This should be a rare occurrence but unfortunately we have been told in the news today that it is actually an issue on the rise.

According to a BBC investigation only one of the UK’s 13 ambulance services is meeting the target to reach patients with life-threatening conditions within eight minutes. In the case I am handling a patient with breathing difficulties was not reached for almost three hours and subsequently died from a condition that is treatable. I will be helping this family to challenge the poor care they suffered but it can never bring their loved one back.

The ambulance service is blaming delays on rising demand and pressure on the system. There is no doubt truth in that but in my experience is certainly not the full picture. In the case I am dealing with the 999 call was incorrectly categorised by a call handler, information about road closures was not conveyed and there was a shortage of ambulances due to sickness, staff shortages and annual leave. To me these issues could ne addressed by increasing competence of staff and managing resources more effectively.

If demand is increasing then it is vital that the ambulance service is able to cope or lives will be lost. It appears to me that a lack of planning, as well as bad management, is at the heart of this issue. At the moment the system seems to be in chaos and that is not the way to run a service on which lives depend.









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