I've not died – my plan was to blog at least every second day, but that has gone for a burton as my internet connection is up and down more times than a *insert metaphor*. I'm trying to get it fixed, but of course that means some time after the bloody waste of time that is Christmas.
I must admit that I saw this on the BBC, and thought it sounded somewhat familiar.
The government has been urged to review its targets for ambulances responding to 999 calls, following claims that patient care is being affected.
The NHS Confederation, which acts for ambulance trusts, said that targets can produce “unintended consequences” and “may not be benefitting patients.”
However Mr Edwards added: “Any narrow target which focuses on one measure does have the potential for producing unintended consequences and maybe not benefitting patients.
“A solution might be to move to a measure in which we measure the outcome of what's done rather than just the process, so what was the outcome for the patient? Did they receive the emergency care that they should have done?
“And if we could move to a situation which was better at measuring that, then we might avoid some of the unintended consequences of these very tight timescale based targets.”
He was backed by academic Janette Turner, from the Sheffield University's Medical Care Research Unit.
She told the BBC: “The only proven clinical value of an eight-minute response is for patients with cardiac arrest, where a really fast response really can make the difference between whether they survive or whether they die, but for the other patients there's no proven relationship between how quickly the ambulance gets there and whether they survive.
“The problem that creates for ambulance services is if they get there in seven minutes and the patient dies, they have succeeded because they have met a target and if they get there in nine minutes and the patient lives, they have failed because they haven't reached the target.”
How's 2004 for warning people about this?
The question that I need to ask now is, seeing as I've been saying this for as long as I've been blogging, I must be an expert on this situation – so can I have a nice paying non-shiftwork job at the DoH?
No, of course not – what do I know about ambulance work anyway? Better to have a someone who has been a teacher and solicitor as the 'expert' on ambulance work?
6 thoughts on “What Have I Been Saying…?”
here in washington state where i work as a paramedic on an ALS rig for a private ambulance company, we too have response times. but these response times are set by the city fire council (made up of politicians) as a part of the contract between the private ambulance company and the county. these times aren't based on what is best for the patient but rather, what the company agreed to in order to get the contract; so our rural response time is 12 minutes for ALS calls, 19 for BLS calls, and within the city limits, 8 minutes for ALS and 12 minutes for BLS. if we don't meet those responses (most of the time due to low staffing) the company is fined by the council and said fine money goes into a coffer for equipment for the fire departments. last i checked the fine was 1500 dollars a late run! so of course, the company is all over us to make those times, sometimes fudging numbers if necessary to avoid paying a fine. it's great to know that when we are running low on supplies or personnel, the local fire departments are able to purchase new helmets, etc etc. it is all politics, everywhere in this world. sad.
bravo sir. I believe that they have finally taken light on what you've been blogging about..subtle hints or not but i pray something will finally be done. =)
Fingers crossed. TBH a lot of those quotes are so close to what was in your blog post I'd be very surprised if they've not been reading you. You may actually have had an influence, even if it'll never be acknowledged.
Radio 4's “The Report: Question marks over 999 call targets (17 Dec 09)” is worth a listen.(http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p944h#synopsis)I still can't see anyone making any changes any time soon 🙁
Mr edwards uses a lot of words to say “we ****ed up” And l see they use an academic to back him up rather than someone who works in the service.
Excellent news. But if they get rid of this target, what will you have to blog about? 🙂