Stuart Moore found this little gem on the BBC website, essentially about GPs planning to dial 999 for non-emergency calls.
Ambulance bosses say a threat by GPs in Swansea to dial 999 for non-emergencies would bring the service to a standstill and risk peoples' lives.
Doctors say ambulances are over-stretched and non-emergency patients who need to be admitted to hospital are left to wait.
Ambulances have to respond quicker and within a guaranteed time to 999 calls.
GP’s are upset that ambulances spend their time stuck outside A&E with no beds at the hospital to offload their patients onto.
The Morgannwg Local Medical Committee, made up of doctors from the region, has put forward a motion to the Welsh LMC conference on Saturday calling for members to use the 999 system rather than pre-book vehicles.
Swansea based GP Dr Ian Millington, secretary of Morgannwg LMC, said: “It's really a way of using the system to guarantee that patients get appropriate care.
“What we are trying to arrive it is where we can guarantee a time for a patient to arrive at hospital. Increasingly that's becoming difficult if we use the normal control room number.
These non-emergency patients are the patients who can wait for an ambulance, as their condition isn’t immediately life threatening. People who are believed to have a DVT, a chest infection, or a urine infection are the typical non-emergency calls we go on.
Stuart asked my thoughts on the subject, these are –
Short answer : “GAAAAHHHH!”
Longer, more sarcastic answer: “Don’t GP’s do that anyway? Especially for the patients that they haven’t actually seen, just diagnosed over the phone”.
Sensible answer : “Why do GPs think that abusing a system will help patients? If they carry out their threat then ORCON (Government target) will be hurt, the ambulance services involved will be slated for poor response times and will get less funding, this will result in a worse service. This only leads to patients getting a worse deal than before.”
I’ll leave you with these comments, so you don’t just think it’s just us road crews who think it is a bad idea.
But Don Page, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, warned if the GPs carried out their threat it would have dire consequences.
“To undertake the threatened action will result in the emergency ambulance service coming to a complete standstill and unable to respond to real emergencies and life threatening calls,” he said.
“It would be unprofessional and negligent of GPs to take such action which would clearly put the lives of people at risk.
“I understand the concerns of GPs but I would urge them to step back and consider the dangers that such action would cause.”