As I am a complete nerd, I have email alerts set up for various topics spoken about in government. Often I don't have the chance to read them but, being stuck alone on station last night, I had the time and the good luck to read on such discussion.
This was a discussion about encouraging people to 'self care' their minor ailments. There was no mention of ambulances, the discussion centred mostly on the role that Pharmacists, GPs and Practice Nurses have to play. After all the government has no idea what us ambulance people do – I'm sure they think we only go to car crashes, heart attacks and the sort of thing you see on 'Casualty'*.
Never mind, although I do have one comment to make on the discussion.
'It is worth listing the minor ailments that I mean. They are generally part of everyday life and include backaches, coughs and colds, headaches, toothache, indigestion, skin problems, allergies and some respiratory problems.'
Hold on! I've been to every single one of those minor complaints, normally as a 'Cat A', high speed response. Around 80% of calls to us via 999 are for these very things.
The discussion continues,
'In many cases people manage these minor ailments already through self-care using an over-the-counter, or OTC, product, but research conducted by the Proprietary Association of Great Britain indicates there is often a significant level of dependency on the doctor.'
By doctor they also mean 'Call 999 because they don't want to wait for a GP appointment, then moan when they reach A&E and have to wait for longer than five minutes'.
'But it's serious' they look up at me and whine when the nurse, quite rightly, puts the poor helpless little flower out in the waiting room while trying to deal with the people in majors who are genuinely sick.
Needless to say, reading this gave me a good laugh…
*'Trauma' is being shown on British TV at the moment and the first episode was last night – I'm yet to watch it, but from the reaction of my American colleagues it should be entertainingly awful…