Private Ambulances (Part One)

I'm a bit busy at the moment (although my lurgy has mostly cleared up and my Measles blood test has come back negative, so I can return to work tomorrow starting at 'Oh my God o'clock').

I just want to draw your attention to this newstory – it's something I'm currently researching by trawling through official papers.

The short version is that in a few years time the people who 'buy' health services in the UK will be required to contract out some of the 999 A&E ambulance services to private companies.

I happen to think that this is a bad idea, and the BBC has picked up on it recently as well.

More on this once I've had a chance to research it properly.

BBC Links here.


Utterly unconnected, but there is an interesting Guardian article about how the government might deal with internet and social networking communication during a terrorist attack – I'd hope that this has no basis in fact as to do what is suggested would (a) probably not work (b) cause more problems than it solves and (c) almost certainly be illegal.

10 thoughts on “Private Ambulances (Part One)”

  1. I'm not surprised. A nurse I occaisonally work with on Red Cross first aid duties was saying they didn't seem to know what they were doing.

  2. Firstly, the ambulance firms. I think that all ambulance staff should be trained, and, have a CRB check they work with vulnerable people and need to know how to deal with them and are suitable to deal with them.Secondly, the airwaves plan, I don't like it, but, they have to do something to one stop terrorists using the technology to their advantage and to stop mass terror, there's nothing so dumb as folk who are panicked into social disorder

  3. As I understand it, some of the jobs (transfers, moving organs) this company was allowed to use blue lights and sirens. What's the legal position there with a driver who's had sod-all training (and has been on shift for 20 hours)?

  4. Tom, my service has been using 'private' ambulance companies, and the good 'ol Johnners, to 'assist' in meeting our 999 obligations for a number of years now. Most GP urgents are now covered by 1 of 2 large private firms in our county and increasingly they're backing up FRVs and solos on B and C cat calls.In fact quite a number of frontline staff have secondary employment with these firms.

    I was saying about 7 years ago, when our management were looking to 'sell-off' many smaller stations and create big depots, that there seemed to be no obvious reason why a private contractor couldn't bid for the whole 999 contract; unless there's some legislation baring it. However, with the advent of foundation trusts, which are in effect private companies, that in effect is what will happen. Then ACME Medical from the USA can do a hostile take-over and we'll all be driving around in Chevy trucks.

    P.S. glad to read that you're feeling better.

  5. our area has several different private ambulance companies…recently a private crew attended a hypo, but due to training could give nothing but oral glucose. when our crew arrived an hour later (when the private crew eventually got round to calling for backup) the patient still had a mouth full of hypostop and a GCS of 7…

    from what i've seen, the training and skills in the private ambulance sector just don't compare to the NHS, which is strange as most i've come across claim to be ex-NHS…

  6. Hi Tom. Found your blog through Nee Naw. Have read and enjoyed your book and I look forward to reading more here too.Keep up the good work!

  7. i am only a faaw and i have worked for the private sector, i have treated kids with no crb check, i am expected to drive blue light with no training if we have a critical patient. i have worked with 1 week trained EMTs dealing with neck, spinal injureys, broken limbs, overdose and cardiac or respiratory arrest.

  8. that's scary! why put yourself in such a precarious position? if you haven't been trained, why do it?if you're driving on blues and you crash, what happens?

    if you're treating someone and something you do makes them worse, what happens?

    everyone makes mistakes, after all we're only human. but when the shit hits the fan, who's got your back?

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