I'm really interested in what people have to say about this post (I may be doing this all week – I'm on a run of twelve hour shifts).
Our patient is one of our recent 'new Europeans', he'd dialled 999 because he was feeling 'generally unwell'. His English is pretty poor, so it was a case of me asking questions and him saying 'yes' or 'no'.
His problem was that he had a headache, was a bit dizzy and his heartbeat was a bit fast. The reason?
He'd been drinking for two weeks.
He wasn't much fun, although I treated him with the same respect I treat all my patients, he complained that I was laughing at him.
It sits at the back of my mind that this was a completely self inflicted injury, he'd dialled 999 for an 800 yard journey and he complained the whole way.
So the questions I want answered are,
At what point does this become an abuse of the Ambulance/A&E system?
When am I able to point out that this might not be the best use for an ambulance?
What do I do when I get a complaint from the patient for 'being rude'?
What is the best way to stop this sort of call happening again?