Good News, Bad News

Good News

Patients suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest in London now have more chance than ever before of being resuscitated by staff, according the latest Service figures.

The report, published by the Clinical Audit & Research Unit (CARU), also shows the Utstein* survival rate is up to 15.2 per cent from 12 per cent the previous year.

So, if you have a cardiac arrest in London (for certain values of cardiac arrest), you have a 15.2% chance of survival. Which is great but won't result in us getting any more funding. Well done everyone involved, and well done to the new CPR protocols – I've personally noticed a difference with the 30:2 compressions.

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Bad News

For the first time in its history the Service has responded to one million incidents in a single calendar year.

The Service has already attended over three per cent more incidents than in the whole of last year (968,952), with the busy New Year's Eve period still to come.

Chief Executive Peter Bradley said: “To attend one million incidents in a single year is an amazing milestone and one that no other ambulance service has ever reached.

“Every member of staff can be proud of the contribution they have made towards helping us to reach more patients more quickly than ever before.

“Demand on our Service has risen steadily over the years , and this is something experienced by ambulance services nationwide. We continue to work to find innovative ways of offering more appropriate care pathways for our patients. The ability to offer some of our callers telephone advice or to transfer them to NHS Direct is allowing us to save thousands of traditional ambulance responses each year.”

The millionth incident was to a patient suffering chest pain in Tower Hamlets. A Poplar ambulance crew and a HART single responder attended. The patient was taken to hospital.

This is what I meant when I previously mentioned that our chief executive sounded proud that we go to more than a million calls. Is that something we should be proud of, or rather something that we should be worried by? And these are the calls that ambulances are sent on, not the ones where telephone advice refuses an ambulance.

Someone please explain to me how this is a good thing, especially if we aren't increasing the number of ambulances and staff on the road?

As an aside, half of my workload is 'chest pain in Tower Hamlets', I'm willing to bet that it was a cough or bellyache, or maybe a bit of 'flu'.

8 thoughts on “Good News, Bad News”

  1. Unfortunately like most Amb services (and I know you've touched on this before), it's more about the business, stats and figures, then the patients, the care and trying to help them. Just because 1million is a big number, doesn't mean it's a good number to reach. Agree with you though Tom in the fact that I don't understand why he's 'happy' about this.

  2. I would of like to see him say “Now we have 1 million calls we need more money for more crews and vehicles as this number will carry on rising.”Fat chance of that for you. hard working crews.

  3. Are there any stats to show the number of calls for each type of call? Especially it would be interesting to see how incidents many are drink related or could have been treated with elastoplast.

  4. Hi Tom,Been reading you blog for ages…reminds me of why I got out of A & E after ten years of unadluterated slog and heartache. Always thought the ambo crews were worth far more than the outrageous salaries the GPs have, after all they've screwed the NHS for the rest of us!

    So the suits in LAS think it's great that no-one seems capable, except the elderly, of taking ANY responsibility for their own health (or anything else in this spoon fed society…thank you Thatcher, thank you Blair!). As a Health Visitor with attitude, what else from an ex A & E sister!, I can tell you it's pretty much the same in community practice, as one of the Sisters in a nameless Paed hospital said to me years ago “We need the pill in the water and the antidote given to a chosen few”. The unbelievable nannying we have in the country that spawned an Empire (not necessarily a good thing) must make some of our old war veterans wonder why the hell they bothered fighting, it would me!

    Let's cut to the chase and start hitting time wasters and ambo abusers in their pockets, it's only a matter of time before the NHS is privatised anyway, but don't worry LAS suits you'll be able to rake it in as private consultants…cynic?Moi?

    To the barricades! Fancy leading the rvoluitonary struggle Tom, behind you all the way!

    Keep safe out there.

  5. 15.2 success rate with pre hospital CPR! I didn't know that Jesus was a paramedic…. I have only had 8 WALK out of hospital with no problems. That is in 43 years, a beating heart in A&E for an hour is not a success

  6. As I say, it's for certain values of cardiac arrest – so it's for VF/VT witnessed arrests (and I think it needs to have had bystander CPR or something…)

  7. The US uses CoPay, so I pay $5 for my pills (which is stupid, since I have no choice), but I paid $50 for my wife to go to the ER. Not enough to warn me off, but enough to make me consider options.The ambulance should not be free. I don't know who we do it here, but the ambulance is the last resort. I drive or I call a friend. Ambulances are expensive.

    Somehow I think a lot of the stuff you are writing about has a pricing solution. Ambulances should be for sick people, not manipulators.

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