Monday, 6 January 2014

Ambulances and their crews!

 

Yesterday was very interesting.....we are now getting the hang of going in and out of the hospital . We know where the waits are likely and what the problems are going to be!

All of this has been complicated by some extreme weather and anxiety over whether our local ferry will be running and wondering if the roads will be flooded....

David is slowly getting weaker and needs help to go up and down in the chair lifts.....the ambulance crews don't have to carry him in any more but they support him between chair and wheelchair...

He is a very big man....so yesterday we were a bit surprised when one of the ambulance crew was a woman!

The other half of the crew was a fairly young man so we had some fraught moments getting David into the wheel chair and into the ambulance.

My wonderful friend got us into her car to follow them as we have done every other time. We waited. Nothing happened until the young man got out and asked us the best way to go! They had come all the way round, they had never used the ferry....which way was the best?

The ferry was the answer but with a boyish grin he told us they didn't know the way to the ferry!

"Follow us" we said and led the way.

They did just that. The river Fal had big waves but the chain ferry was working. We all got on board....the young mans face showed some stress but they followed us off and we all arrived at the hospital in good order.

As we were unpacking David we mentioned the ferry. The girl was clearly unhappy about this way of travel....

"It was rolling" she said, "I thought I was going to be sick....look." She had indeed got the sick bag out for herself!

My friend who knows the ways of the NHS believed the the couple were part of the new outsourcing policy for ambulances....

We came back home with a different ambulance crew!

1 comment:

  1. This is an issue across much of the NHS with Patient Transport. In Kent, a new contract was put in place last year and has had innumerable problems with Crews not turning up to pick up patients in time for appointments, other times, patients being delayed in hospital for up to 12 hours waiting for transport to home or a respite centre. The new contractor was the cheapest bidder, and on taking over the employee's immediately put in an extended shift roster without consultation meaning that people who worked part time or had child care or carer responsibilities had shift rosters changed which effectively compromised their caring responsibilities. The contract has been a disaster and staff who were previously directly employed by the NHS are now on a poorer contract with compromised pensions and have balloted for an all out strike.

    The contractor blithely carries on, quoting that the needs of the patients have priority, when it's patently clear that it's profits and cost cutting to meet their underestimate of the costs of running the service.

    In the meantime both patients and staff are suffering inconvenience and delays, which in some cases make their conditions worse when they should be concentrating on treatment and recovery.

    Privatisation isn't always the answer - and the service to patients is degraded, unreliable and a disgrace. The NHS who employ these contractors need a good kick up the pants :(

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