Sufficient Time

A woman has said she was left in agony when an ambulance took three hours to respond to a 999 call after a fall.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said: “We don't have sufficient time to look into the detail to respond to this.

“EMAS is a 24/7 service. We answer 500,000 emergency calls per annum and that's our priority.”

(My emphasis)


I never thought I'd hear an ambulance service say this. I guess that the person on the other end of the phone to the reporter was having a really bad day.

I wonder if this means I can get away with telling a patient that, “I don't have time to deal with your cut finger”.

(My back of a fag packet numbers for London is that we have over 1.2 million calls a year, I'm sure the official figures are out there someone but I can't be bothered to look them up. I'm working in a few hours and yes, I know we have more ambulances than EMAS).

8 thoughts on “Sufficient Time”

  1. I'm guessing that – it just leapt out at me.(I'm also guessing that many Press Offices around the globe would love to give a response like that)

  2. Oh yes – the times I've been dealing with a drunk in the street while Control are desperately looking for a patient who is seriously ill is too often to count.Likewise, a broken leg, while nasty, is not often life-threatening, and if everyone is off dealing with cardiac arrests, then a broken leg is, unfortunately, not that high on the list.

    Not that it doesn't make me fume when broken legs and little old ladies on the floor unable to get up are held for '30 year old male, laying on the road outside pub, possibly drunk, possibly dead'

  3. You might also take into consideration that “Reporters” are notorious for “accidently” misquoting someone.Someone who might have said “We haven't had sufficient time to look into the detail to respond to this yet.”

    And said “Reporter” took offense at not getting what he wanted RIGHT NOW – like the ADHD hamsters that they usually are – and “accidently” “misquoted”.

  4. Oh yes! They love to turn your words around. It's all about headlines that will sell papers, and they know what catches the public eye.

  5. I would have taken it to mean we are too busy dealing with people with cut fingers to look at a one off incident where someone has had a long wait for an ambulance.No-one knows what else was going on at the time and it is possible that ambulances were all tied up with other emergencies. Does a broken leg take precedence over a heart attack or a major road accident?

    I suspect the quote is wrong however as further down the article it mentions that EMAS wish to speak to her directly.

  6. About time too, it's good to see a press officer telling the members of the press exactly what's on their mind for once. No doubt the patient hasn't contacted the trust in question and this will be the first they've heard about it. Why does the patient have to call the press to find out what happened (and no doubt a no win=no fee scam artist solicitor) when one call to the trust would more than likely get a decent response in the first place?

  7. It looks like the lady hasn't contacted EMAS at all. As others has said I would imagine the quote was taken out of context, the spokes person probably saying something along the lines of as no complaint has been made I can't really justify spending the time looking into it just to give a journo a story to beat us with. We're pretty busy you know we do ……..

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