We have a number of hostels in our area, some are for young people, some are for people living with mental illness, some for alcoholics and others are for people coming out of prison.
For this latest call we were called for someone who was 'suicidal', we pulled up outside the house and realising that it was the same place that my crewmate had her bag stolen while we were inside dealing with a patient.
We walked in (after making sure that the ambulance was securely locked) and spoke to a member of staff. We had a bit of trouble making ourselves understood, but this is not really unusual any more.
The patient, who was in his room was said to be feeling distressed and had apparently tied a noose in a bit of spare string. The staff seemed very proud that he had taken the string away from the patient – so now the patient was safe.
I asked him if he'd removed the patient's shoelaces, belt, power leads or drawstrings for the curtains. He looked a bit sheepish and told us that he had forgotten about those things…
We went up to the patient's room. He didn't want to talk to us, except to tell us that the 'noose' had just been him fiddling with the bit of string out of boredom. We tried to persuade him to come with us to hospital, it covers our back should he then go on to hurt himself, and it means that he might get some specilist help from the mental health team.
But he refused and in my opinion he was full competent to refuse treatment so we left him.
Going back downstairs to the staff, they seemed very disappointed that we weren't taking the patient to hospital. I had to roll out one of my set monologues, the one where I explain that we can't kidnap people. The staff shook their heads and asked us what they could do. It was night, so there wasn't a chance of a GP or of a mental health team so the only advice that I could give was that they speak to their support staff in the morning.
And so we left, hoping that he didn't go on to hang himself with the belt that the staff had left in his room.
I'm on night-shifts at the moment. After some time being able to keep the same hours as reasonable people it's come as a bit of a shock to the system. So while the weather is lovely I find myself sleeping through it – it's just depressing really. Especially when people annoy me by dancing in the road in front of me while I'm trying to drive on blue lights.