Ambulance service not doing its job
Posted: January 13, 2014
Posted in: Medical Negligence
Police in Essex are complaining that ambulance failures are resulting in an increased strain on the police service, with over 180 patients taken to hospital by police in the last year. Police said that they have been taking patients to hospital when ambulances are delayed or don’t show up: preventing them from doing their job properly.
Figures obtained by BBC News found that in 2012, Essex Police took 185 patients to hospital when ambulances weren’t available. The figures showed that 121 of the incidents were recorded as “excessive delays” in ambulances arriving at the incidents and 83 were classed as “inappropriate ambulance requests” of the police force. ‘Inappropriate requests’ included the ambulance service contacting the police to go to the incident with concerns of a violent person at the scene of the emergency.
People’s lives at risk
Not only are police concerned that they are being prevented from carrying out their daily policing duties, but they are also ill-equipped to take the place of paramedics in emergency situations: putting people’s lives at risk.
The East of England Ambulance Service said that the problem is greatly down to staff shortages. However, a pilot scheme has been introduced whereby police and paramedics both attend incidents when both services are thought to be required. This scheme will run until February, after which it will be evaluated.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said that there is a great focus now on recruiting additional paramedics and technicians to solve the problem.
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