Apologies To All Police

Medical stuff is easy, I know exactly what to do when someone is having a heart attack, has a broken leg, or has driven their car at speed into a wall.
It's the 'social' stuff that is really tricky.

3am in the morning, and I find myself going to a call, “Female, fell down stairs”. On arriving outside the flats I heard two people arguing, and initially the female wouldn't let me into the flat. Then a young looking boy (he looked and sounded about 13 to me), 'buzzed' me into the flat.

The patient had a black eye, and a possible broken nose. She was covered in blood and was extremely upset.

She also refused to go to hospital, because she had her young daughter asleep upstairs.

The patient maintained that she had been out drinking, while the young looking lad had been looking after her daughter – she didn't want to go to hospital because she didn't want to leave her daughter with the lad anymore.

I did confront her over being happy leaving her daughter to go drinking, but not to go to the hospital – she was still determined not to go to hospital

I also asked her if she was telling the truth, and that she hadn't been assaulted. She stuck to her story that she had simply fallen down the stairs.

Unfortunately, I can't drag people off to hospital, and even if I could, I'd have to arrange care for the young daughter.

I asked the young man how old he was, and he told me he was 22.

If he is 22 then he has some serious hormone imbalance problems, as his voice hadn't broken.

So, I had a woman who looked to me as if she had been punched, refusing to go to hospital. I had a 13 year old boy (or thereabouts) looking after her and her daughter. And I had heard them both arguing loudly from the street about something.

I couldn't just leave them like that. But what to do?

At 3am, there is only really one thing to do – although I hated doing it.

Call the police.

Contacting Social Services would have taken weeks to sort out the problem, and there was nothing us ambulance folk could do – so that left the police.

I know that they are busy, I know that they don't like attending this sort of thing, and I know that their hands are tied as much as mine. But I live in hope that they could do something about this situation – at the very least get it calmed down.

I'm still not 100% sure that I did the right thing, but compared to ignoring the problem I think that getting the police involved is 'the path of least evil'.

For all I know they have a huge file on this woman.

So, to all the police who read this blog – Sorry.

12 thoughts on “Apologies To All Police”

  1. Can't really blame you chap – I think you and I both know it's not a decision to be taken lightly and you obviously weighed the situation up as well as anyone could have done before making the call.I wonder if you're wondering how long it might be before this woman needs the assistance of the LAS (or, worse, the Met police) again? I'm sure it would cross my mind.

  2. what else could you do? You cared enough to want to help and not just walk away, I'm sure there are many that would have. The police were your only option, I hope they cared enough to help too.

  3. You had no other option the way I see it, you know from experience when something just “isn't right”.You just might have saved another life, you'll never know but at least you've done all you could.

  4. And you say you dont care about people! Someone who didnt care or couldnt be bothered would have walked away from that without a second glance. Whether it turns out to have been the right thing to do or not, you did what you felt was best given the circumstances. I applaud you Reynolds.

  5. I expect under the most recent child protection legislation you had to report the concerns for the daughter anyway and lets face it the chance of Social Services having somebody available at 3 am to deal with the immediate problem are fairly remote.

  6. Am I right in thinking that there may have been s.o. else in the flat with whom the woman had possibly had an altercation or did you think that the young lad and the woman had had a falling out? Either way, if you were worried about the safety of the children involved there should have been a social worker on duty who could have discussed your concerns and taken action if necessary, though I share your view that it would in all likelihood have taken SSD ages to do anything in the absence of palpable immediate risk to the children. I think you did the right thing if you were worried about the safety of the woman as well as the children – calling the police would at the very least allow the woman another opportunity to talk to someone if there had been something more unpleasant than a drunken fall going on.A.N. Social Worker

  7. Wouldn't life be wonderful if we knew what the right decision was? I don't think anyone can say to you that you were wrong.Jilly

  8. mebbe she fell down the stairs??Sorry being pedantic.. I know the pain and anger and frustration suffered by us (un)healthy types when patients refuse to take action.. Why? Because they are scared, Because they 'Love' the person. Because they dont think it will help. Mixed up world.

  9. You defintely did the right thing, Reynolds. I am a teacher and am frequently confided in by the students. Despite my interruption “I have to tell you that I may need to pass this on to Mrs S” (the Child Protection Officer), they inevitably end the conversation with “you won't tell anyone, will you?”Um. Not tell anyone that you have just told me you are feeling suicidal/ your brother sexually abused you/ your dad beats up your mum. Um. Hm.

    I do have to pass it on. I feel a bit bad about it every time, but I also know that I am not trained to deal with this and Mrs S is. It would be highly unprofessional and very stupid of me to keep this kind of thing a secret.

    I suppose what I am saying is that sometimes you have to go with gut feelings… and inform the relevant authorities.

    I enjoy reading your blog, Reynolds. I hope, one day, you might pop by mine and say hi!


  10. you're a damn good teacher if your students feel they can confide in you to that extent. Well done. šŸ™‚

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