Back To Normal

So yesterday's shift was on the FRU (If you read my twitter updates in the sidebar, you may well get previews of upcoming posts).

Remember – the FRU is only sent to the most serious calls.

So on this shift going to serious calls I went to…

Two panic attacks.

One urinary infection.

One earache.

And that's it.

Nice to know I'm back to normal.

23 thoughts on “Back To Normal”

  1. Well… I understand why the argument is there, Stumo… Truth is, maybe people SHOULD think about it twice before calling. It would probably cut calls by half. I'm sure that the entitlement calls would disappear entirely. Good education would probably take care of the rest… reuse the funds to help with FRU dispatch and community-officer systems that can help as first response and help redirect assistance as needed, perhaps?Even in the US, insurers who cover ambulance services for their clients will fight ambulance transport bills if their (non-medically trained, it's a mess!) pencil-and-paper-pushers decide that it wasn't necessary and pass them back to their insurees.

    I can understand people being scared and not knowing whether or not to call. There should be some discretion, some wiggle room. But in the case of the maternataxi? Billy and his broken toe? The sniffles? The dude with the car in the driveway and the cough that hasn't gone away in two weeks? These people KNOW better. They even argue with us over the fact that this is OWED to them because it's THEIR tax dollars at work.

    … It's the entitlement that gets to me. That and the fact that I've seen too many people who've really needed help having to wait just a little bit longer because some jackass was tying up ressources due to a broken toe when he could have gotten his wife to drive him to an urgent care clinic down the block… And who catches the blame? The ambulance crews and companies do. It sucks.

  2. Hiya, point one – I am absolutely as full of BS as the next person, at least. Sometimes, also like everyone else, I forget that small but important fact!I think it was the recent HYS about people taking fag breaks that finally tipped me over the edge – I mean, everyone posting on it “knew better”! Yet how many bother to vote, how many get involved in their communities regarding those issues of public health…

    I suddenly found it funny, the scales dropped from my eyes just as I was about to post a really opinionated comment – and I suddenly realised I'm right there in the frog chorus, and it all looks absurd, given that A. the majority of people think they have all the answers and B. life's not perfect yet.

    This would, to my mind anyway, indicate that a lot of people are very deluded. I'm quite sure I'm one of them.

    The bigger issue is that services are not designed for people as they are, as opposed to as they “should” be, and that we are all paying for these services. We can gripe about “them” all we like, and it;s often enjoyable, but it doesn't change the nature of reality.

    If we all like to think of ourselves only as responsible users then it seems likely we are the ones who will lose out the most if the ambulance service is cut back until it can only cater for real emergencies, because as any reader of this blog knows, there are so many more calls that waste time.

    Nature builds in multiple redundancies, from the number of unused brain parts (that can be reconfigured after a stroke or brain injury) to the number of sperm released, how many pints of blood we can lose, the amount of general damage our bodies can take before they pack it in.

    Even the immune system as a whole is more of a contingency plan, again with different approaches and multiple redundancy – politicians redesigning the human body would probably pare it down, and replace it with ASBOs for viruses (then blame someone else when the body – dies).

    It seems only reasonably (to this eejit) that services our lives rely upon have the same allowance for error/abuse, and the same flexibility.

  3. True, but who does that law punish? The 22-stone man who is eating his way to an early grave and has a genuine heart-attack due to his free-will choices, or the hard-working new mum whose sudden return to work has caused a panic attack, which she's never had before, and who thinks she's going to die so calls an ambulance?My point about imperfection is that probably, 50-80% of 999 calls to ambulances are the direct result of one or more lifestyle choices made by the patient, and stupidity is often at least not in need of long-term medical help.

    That the systems we pay for cannot allow for that, and so people go without these services (while we have enough millions/billions to spare for *insert stupid government project here*) is criminal and very, very wrong IMO.

  4. Fab, thanks, it's time I stopped scribbling all over Tom's casa and HYS, and sundry others, and actually got busy doing my own stuff. Much appreciated!

  5. And for the earache – turn down the telly? ask his Mother-In-Law to leave?and for the panic attack – advise they stop watching Deal Or No Deal? suggest they set a reminder on their mobile phone for when the parking meter is going to run out?

    Aah, such good use of highly trained and experienced personnel…

  6. I agree a UTI is not life threatening, but it can be serious. One night in January my husband was in severe pain, so I called an ambulance. He was taken to hospital (not our local one – it was full) where a UTI was diagnosed. He spent the next week in CCU, for the first few days very confused. Two months later he's still not 100% fit.

  7. Why not impose fines on people who call for ambulances in non-serious circumstances? They had started doing that in Ontario, when I was living there. If you called for one (on the province's dime) and your situation was not deemed emergent or urgent, you got billed for it. No more maternataxies, no more “billy has a broken toe” and no more UTI transports.This is ridiculous.Then people wonder why resources are spread too thin… Jeebus on a Cracker, folks, it's not that complicated! Stop wasting people's time and money! Go see your GP! Don't take away essential ambulance services from the guy with the heart attack, the baby who just coded, the domestic violence victim who is bleeding to death and the rape victim down the street! GAH!:: climbs down her soapbox ::Seriously!;) Hang in there, dude.

  8. The normal argument against it is that it might put some people off calling if they're not sure.Possibly something where the ambulance call takers are allowed discretion in the priority of a job (and have an option where it's dealt with over the phone/they send a taxi at the NHSs expense etc.)

  9. I didn't know it was possible to send a taxi at the NHS's expense. If it was in 'normal office hours' they could arrange transport with the PTS, couldn't they?

  10. Yesterday was sureal , I'm a FRU , I was sent to a 20 yr girl who had a blood test the day before and has a bruise at the site . “The midwife siad it would go after a day” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  11. Yeah, “Humanity In 'Still Not Perfect Yet' Shocker” – hold the front page…. Sorry if I sound a little cynical, it just seems to me like every time I read anything written by politicians, church leaders, specialists in their fields and the public at large, it's always THEM to blame – the stupid, the wrong, the great unwashed.”They” must never have access to the internet, since it's always the perfect who are commenting on “them”…? BBC's HYS is the perfect place to spot this phenomena, and possibly the funniest read on the net.

    I realise this looks like I'm going off on one at this post and the replies, and that's not my intention – so, sorry. I just think a reality check is in order before we try to legislate for a condition of perfection in our species that will basically never, ever, exist, and which never has.

    That, or we can keep getting our knickers in a twist, because at least that can be amusing! I'll shut up now, and go and be cynical elsewhere…. :o)

  12. I share your frustration, but to play devil's advocate, wouldn't it be nice if, as a society, we were capable of creating systems that work for people as they ARE, not as they “should” be?Because bearing in mind that even in the strictest religious or secular regimes, people habitually don't do what they “should” – even to the extent of being willing to die for it – I think it's really about time we made systems that work for people rather than impractical ones that cannot cope with reality, but which then allow us all to play at blaming “them” for all our woes.

    Unless, of course, that small sense of superiority we all feel when we read a story like this provides a bigger species-wide payoff than actually having a society that works smoothly….?

  13. OFF TOPIC – shoot me, I'm a timewaster – can anyone point me towards any “best practice” sites/pages for bloggers, I am so slow on this one, and just want the equivalent of “”My profile link sends to my e-mail, and apologies in advance but I just had to ask….

  14. Legislating for perfection is obviously not in the realm of reality. However, there's a difference between being ill-informed / badly educated / mistaken / a bit dim, and actual wanton abuse of systems and people that are there to help.There's also a difference between thinking there is one thing that you do/know/understand better than someone else, and extending that to thinking you do everything better than someone else, and are perfect.

    Person A, who uses the 999 service properly if at all, feels superior to person B, who calls out an ambulance for a panic attack. However, person B feels superior to person C because B recycles their rubbish while C does not. However, person C feels superior to person D because C has a better-paid job than D. However, D feels superior to E, because E is fatter than D. However, E feels superior to A, because E's children are doing better in school. And round and round it goes.

    It's not abnormal to consider other people inferior to oneself for various reasons or to think you know best and everyone else is talking crap – perhaps this is why you find HYS so funny, because of all those people who are, in your opinion, talking crap.

    A lot of people think my friends and I are [insert derogatory term of choice], which may well be true. They write a blog post or chat amongst themselves about how [derogatory term of choice] we are. Does this imply that they think they are perfect, simply because we are not?

  15. a href=”″>Here is the Blogger advice section – some handy hints in there, from “What to do if your mom discovers your blog” to “Eats, Blogs and Leaves”.

  16. If it was anything like the pain I had from a middle-ear infection I can understand why they might. I thought my head was going to explode.Still called the doctor first though.

  17. In a way though… lots of us would be out of a job if we only went to *real* jobs.I know it's no good for A+E's/amb service budgets etc. But I find the whole workload amusing, for the sheer stupidity of some people. Still, I'm less than a year in… hehe

  18. There comes a point where people have to be held accountable for their own actions, though, no?Where does entitlement end? I mean, otherwise, what's the point of laws?

  19. I don't think it is – but maybe it should be considered; it'll be far cheaper than sending an ambulance.

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