First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

UK’s National Health Trust Drops Down Two More Rungs

You Didn't Really Think It Could Get Any Worse, Did You?

THE NATIONAL HEALTH TRUST SERVICE of Great Britain is known for its incompetence and inability to make good decisions on patient care. This is the outfit that will not dispatch an ambulance to a heart attack call a few feet away from the station if the crew are on their mandatory lunch break. We have also reported on the dispicably dirty conditions in some of the hospitals and their practice of leaving emergency medical victims in the ambulances for up to two hours because they are too busy inside.

More than once Firegeezer has reported on instances where a victim was laying in an inch or two of water but the emergency crew is forbidden under penalty of dismissal from entering water without special training or a boat, even in one inch of dangerous water.

The list goes on, but we don't have time here to fill it out with other outrageous examples because the grandaddy of ambulance dispatches took place a few days ago that we are passing on to you today.  It's been 20 years since Firegeezer ran a medical call, but I sure haven't forgotten the basics.  See how many contra-indicators you can spot:

IAN TAYLOR, A RETIRED ARCHITECT, is lucky to have survived his recent experience with the National Health Trust Service a few days ago.  His ordeal began when he passed out in his home where he lives alone, and struck his head.  After laying unconscious "for hours," he woke up in a pool of blood and called for a doctor.  The doctor came to his house and stopped the bleeding and bandaged Ian up, then left him.  This was despite the fact that he had been unconscious and has a history of stroke. (Most doctors in UK, but not all, are employed in the NHT.  None of the news reports stated whether this doctor is or not…ed.)

Ian Taylor  (SWNS / Jones)

Later that evening Mr. Taylor went out to a party and returned home just before his wound opened up and started bleeding again.

"It was quite scary because I was bleeding profusely," he said.

"I thought ‘What I am going to do now?’ as it was too late to call family or friends at around 11.30pm and I was mindful of the fact I had had a stroke some years ago, so I made the decision to call 999 at 11.49pm."

Little did he know that his adventure was just beginning.  Despite his medical history and having passed out earlier in the day, the East of England Ambulance Service Trust dispatcher coded him as a priority 4 – non-life threatening – and dispatched an ambulance that was over 60 miles away in another county.  It took the ambulance 90 minutes to arrive at Ian's home where they first treated him before putting him in the ambulance and setting off for the Addenbrooke's Hospital which is only three miles from Taylor's home.  The Cambridge News picks up the story:

(they) treated Mr Taylor and set off at 1.55am – only to go the wrong way.

He added: "When we left my house here instead of going right through Shelford to the hospital they went left and got lost. "I can only assume they went through Whittlesford and Sawston and I think they went onto the A505."

By this point he realised they were lost and told the ambulance technician next to him that it shouldn’t be taking so long. Mr Taylor, who has lived in the area for 45 years, said: "He asked the driver who said he was lost and that the sat-nav said Addenbrooke’s doesn’t exist. I thought ‘This is stupid’ as we were so close to Addenbrooke’s.

Addenbrooke's Hospital is hard to see …. because
"it doesn't exist."  (PA photo)

"I said ‘Carry on until I recognise something’ and finally we passed the pub called The Rose at Stapleford and by that time we were heading back towards Cambridge." They arrived at Addenbrooke’s 62 minutes after setting off at 2.57am.

He added that he could have cycled to the hospital in 15 minutes or even walked in less than an hour but was told by the emergency call handler to wait for an ambulance to arrive.

According to another report in the Daily Mail, the ambulance had two "sat-nav" systems installed and both of them were malfunctioning.

Read the full account in the Cambridge News HERE.
More details in the Daily Mail HERE.

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