The Last Post

Just in case anyone’s still bothering to track this blog then you will be aware that I’ve been absent for over a week. I suppose an explanation is called for and, in supplying that, I also have to announce that this blog will be no more. This is the last post.

It has been a particularly bad week. My cat decided to go 'walkabout' as the black dog returned with a vengeance last Sunday. (An expression I’d not heard of until Dr Crippen’s post on the same day). I spent most of the day freezing cold, curled up under the duvet on the settee, reading and watching DVDs on my lap top. In particular Dr Crippen’s post directed me to a posting by Dr Dork, a blog I’d only glanced at previously. Although I have very limited knowledge of mental illness I suspect that my decision to start a blog was, in some way, connected with my desperation to understand why everything in life seems so unjust. In fact the only time I ever seem to feel ‘alive’ is when my life is in complete chaos and going down the pan – rapidly. Perhaps blogging was a way to vent the frustration and anger I feel.

Things at work have also come to a head. If anyone’s read my introduction then you’ll know that I don’t enjoy being a ECP. It’s a lonely role and one that I don’t feel very comfortable with. Dr Crippen has railed at length on practitioners in the health service. He quite rightly points out that we “do not know what we do not know” Whilst that’s true I would reply that at least “I know that I don’t know it.” Consequently I find myself completely at a loss on many jobs, “just what the hell am I doing here? This patient needs a doctor”. I am a good paramedic, a specialist in pre-hospital care. That’s what I’m trained for, that’s where my strengths lie. I shouldn’t be messing about in GP territory.

Furthermore this week saw other events that have left me exasperated.

  • A senior manager was on the radio extolling the virtue of ECPs, ‘super’ paramedics he called us. (I’d like to wring his neck!)
  • All our response cars have had their cardiac monitors removed. Apparently, so the rumour mill says, our current supplier lent our trust a number of monitors so that all vehicles would be equipped with one, but they’ve now got wind that we’re changing suppliers; they’ve withdrawn their good will, and the monitors with it. So I get sent out on jobs to life-threatening chest pains with no monitor! Fantastic! Although I carry tenectaplase (a clot busting drug) I can’t administer it as I can’t diagnose a ‘barn door’ MI without a monitor – so I have to wait for an ambulance.
  • ECP visits have, pretty well, dried up. My contacts at HQ tell me that this is because all ECPs are now just to be used as response drivers to meet our response targets. Firstly, goodness knows what the PCTs think of that as they help fund the ECP programme and secondly, this is how ridiculous it gets: A person walks into Dr Crippen’s surgery with chest pain. The good Doctor identifies a heart-attack or other serious cardiac condition, does a referral to the local hospital (medical assessment or cardiac unit) and calls for an ‘immediate’ ambulance to get the patient there. So what does our trust do? Sends a response car! For heavens sake the Doc wants the patient to get to hospital; what’s the point in sending me, in a response car, with no cardiac monitor, to a patient already with a GP? What do they think I’m going to do that the GP can’t? Answer, absolutely nothing! I’m just sent so that the trust can ‘stop the clock’ and put another tick in the ‘met response time’ box. It's a load of bollox! Puts us back to that old chestnut of “If we get there in 8 minutes but the patient dies – it’s a success. If we get there in 9 minutes but save their life – that’s a failure”.
  • Now, because I don’t do ECP visits anymore and I’m just a ‘clock stopper’, I spend large amounts of my day on ‘dynamic cover’ aka sitting at the side of the road somewhere, bored out of my skull. It’s soul destroying!

I’ve pretty much reached the end of my tether. Managed to have a short talk with ‘management’ about going back on the ‘bus’ as a paramedic. Got the same old trite answer “there are no paramedic vacancies”
“Really? So how come the ‘Chief’ has just announced in last week’s in-house newsletter that he wants to train up another 80 EMTs to paramedic level this year. Where are they going to go?”
As usual management "don’t know." They’re not interested, couldn’t care less, as long as it doesn’t affect their stations or their planning. In short they’re not interested in my problems or accommodating me by letting me back on the bus.
In time honoured fashion they offered the usual helpful response. “If you’re not happy you could always collect your P45 and go and work somewhere else."

So…after 11 years on the front line I’ve decided to collect my P45.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read my postings and particularly to all those who were kind enough to leave a comment or drop me a line.



51 Responses to The Last Post

  1. Vicky says:

    Really sorry to hear that..but sounds like you’re doing absolutely the right thing for you. I hope you find somewhere that values you for what you’re obviously worth..Best wishes

  2. Craig says:

    A great shame to see you’re stopping. Has proven to be an excellent read while it lasted.

    That said you’re logic behind stopping seems sound so can’t blame you!

    All the best mate.

  3. big-ashb says:

    don’t give up on blogging, start a personal one or something. i too have suffered the black dog and found that blogging really helped.
    oh and don’t go into IT… having worked in IT for years, there’s very few people i know in that profession who haven’t experienced depression!

    ironic that you’re leaving the profession just as i’m looking to join (currently going through my third attempt, interview coming up, absolutely bricking it).

    chin up and look to the future. RBAT is currently looking for IHCD Qualified Paramedics, i guess it saves them the cost of training them up…

  4. Rich says:

    Not quite sure what to say for you.

    I think it’s a pity as you are a trained ambulance person/Paramedic. Also an ECP, all down the pan.

    It does appear to me as you have been pondering your life in the service, that enough is enough. Sorry to hear that. Take care.

  5. clephan says:

    I’ve been reading this since it was linked from Nee Naw a while back and have been fascinated all along – you’re a fantastic writer. As a fellow black dogger, I’m sorry to hear he’s visited you too, but he does seem to get around.

    Whatever you do next, do consider writing about it.

    All the very best of luck for the future.

  6. ken says:

    Good luck mate all the best, can’t do anything but echo the comments above

  7. Jo says:

    Best of luck with finding a new job or whatever you choose to do next. Black dog’s been visiting me too recently. He does go away in time.

  8. julie says:

    Missed you all week.Now this is your last post,Its a real shame.Take care.


  9. Martin says:

    Wow, that was a bit of a shock. Mainly sorry that you are having a rough time of it at work. Haven’t been reading your blog for long, but definately enjoyed it. I hope you get something sorted.

  10. olivia says:

    I do hope your search for a new job goes smoothly. Your blog has been very enjoyable, and will be hugely missed – but you must do what is right for you! The best of luck for your future.

  11. Jackie says:


    I’ve been following your blog since it was linked on Nee Naw. All the best of luck in whatever you go on to do. You’re going to be greatly missed.

    Thanks for all the posts,

  12. Jess says:

    Sorry to see you’re going to be disappearing ….. it’s been a good read.

    Best wishes and hopefully a change of scenery will improve your state of mind ….. it did for me.

  13. Dave M says:

    i have been following your blog since the link on nee naw appeared. Im sorry to hear about your working enviroment, and the good luck with a new job.

    I hope you reconcider your blogging, your have a flare for it. it will be a loss to us and the internet. you have posted some great posts.

    I have suffered from the black dog, and i wish you all the best, take one day at a time.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us.

  14. Clint says:

    Hope your job hunting goes well, I’ll miss your posts but I guess that’s just me being selfish. Hope you manage to land a good right foot on that black dog’s nose.

  15. Mark G says:

    As one former collegue once said to me, “If you’re not happy in your job, then why do it?”

    I’ve only been a reader for a short while, but it’s been good to read about life in the front line, taking flak and saving lives.

    Whatever you choose to do next, I hope it’s a success, and free of bureaucracy.

    Good luck.

  16. Andrew says:

    Sad to hear. I really enjoyed your blog… as much as I do Nee-Naw and Random Reality.

    Best of luck to you elsewhere, don’t forget your fans and do keep another blog related to your next job won’t you?

  17. WI EMT says:

    I too have been reading your blog since it was linked by NeeNaw. It was nice to read what so many of us have trouble putting into words. I found many of your posts quite cathartic. Sorry to hear that things are going so poorly for you. I understand the frustration of dealing with the EMS system, but it sounds like things are getting really bad there.

    I’m going to miss your blog, but like everyone else has said, there’s no reason to try and force yourself to do something that has lost it’s satisfaction or makes you miserable.

    Best of luck to you whatever road you find yourself on in the future.
    Take care.

    WI EMT

  18. caramaena says:

    Magwitch, like others have said, I started reading since the link in NeeNaw (and have checked it daily). Please, please, please don’t stop writing. I love your style. Start a personal blog or something – anything!

    I’m sorry you find your job unworkable. I can totally understand that you want to throw in the towel. Hopefully something fantastic is just around the corner for you.

    Good luck

  19. Andy says:

    All the important things have already been said.

    Good Luck.

  20. Aine says:

    Sad to see you go, I will miss you!

    I am sending good thoughts to you, I hope your new job takes you to a brighter place again and scares off that black dog!

    Good luck and take care.


  21. Rob says:

    I’ve been reading since the start and really love what you write. I will be sorry to see you go. Good luck with finding a new job. I really hope things work out for you.

  22. Snoop says:

    Have only recently come across you (via Nee Naw) and will be sorry to lose you so soon if you decide to stop blogging. Best of luck, in any case, for whatever you turn your hand to next. Hope the cat decides to walk back. Always sad to lose a pet.

  23. Gimlet says:

    I’d also echo previous comments about keeping up the blogging. Obviously it’s a decision for you to make, but for what it’s worth i’d like to see you keep it going, not just in your new job, but also through your job hunting etc. Anyway, best of luck for the future wherever it may lead.

  24. Edwin says:

    Chin Up !

  25. Stuart Moore says:

    I echo the sentiments of everyone else. Best wishes for the future, and remember the public are very glad of all the lives you’ve saved, even if management are idiots.

  26. I know so many people out on the road who whinge everyday about the job but haven’t got the guts to go and get their P45. Congratulations on having the courage to do it and all the best with whatever you career path you choose to take in the future.

  27. Merys Jones says:

    I think you know my feelings on the matter. Do whatever makes you happy, follow your heart (take your own advice) but PLEASE don’t stop blogging.

  28. Rich says:

    OK, I have had a change of heart.

    Attened a call tonight, quite simple in it’s medical concerns. Am I happy with the outcome ? Yep, sure I am. How good do I feel ? Great.

    No Manager can take that from me, I feel this because I was there. They can do what they do and I don’t care. Let them get on with it. No one will ever be able to take this feeling from me.

    You’re not just giving up a job mate. Really think about it. No one has to understand or say thanks. It’s all about how you feel. The sense of pride you can feel.

    Yep, I know as well as you do, the Management really do some outstanding things 🙂 But can they take this feeling away from me ? Nope, never. So I am always winning.

    Am I happy winning ? Yeee har.

    Might want to give that black dog a kick up the arse. Get yourself a white one, much easier to train 😉

  29. Tom says:

    Sorry to hear all of that. I have immesely enjoyed the short but colourful life of your blog. All the best for the future. Tom.

  30. Beaker says:


    Everything that could be said has already been said. Will def miss your blogging – hope you find something you love.

    All the best


  31. kss says:

    Dont give up the blog, you have a great turn of phrase and a way with words, i’ve been reading since nee naw introduced you.
    Also dont give up the job, we need GOOD medics out there, not the wet behind the ears uni bods, or the old hands that dont open their bags for months at a time!! Take a break, give up the ECP, or possibly consider a move? The LAS ECPs are a fairly busy bunch, well we all are……. You could pay us a visit, london will keep you on your toes at least!
    If you really have had enough of the job then i wish you all the best, but please think about it xxx

  32. CarLa says:

    Sorry to see you go – like NeeNaw & Random Reality you are on my daily ‘to do’ list.
    Understand how you feel about the job – changed track myself when I couldn’t find reason in what I was doing.
    Please don’t disappear completely – you obviously have many new ‘friends’ through your blog and we all value your style and insights. Maybe blog the new job.
    As for the black dog – he is a bastard but can be brought to heel with time and treatment – don’t let him play ‘alpha male’ with you!!!
    Take care mate – hope to hear from you again . . . .

  33. Tom Reynolds says:

    Drop me an email would you?

  34. Mary says:

    Miss you and wish you the best of everything.

  35. Andrew W. says:

    I am sorry that this Blog is ending as I have enjoyed reading it, and I am even more sorry to read that you have been forced to leave your job. I hope you find something new to do that you find more satisfying.


  36. CCUNurse says:

    Dont just pick up the P45…please…get your self seen by a GOOD GP and get sorted…then if your still of a mind, without the black dog barking…pick up the P45. Just dont give the management the satisfaction of saying ‘i told you so’ to each other. Been where you are, worked through it (as a nurse) and came out the other side…dont throw it all away…just yet.
    Not every body cares like you do..but you can make a difference…even without the gadgets…even whilst chasing the targets…your human, your contact, your needed.
    Get well, think it through again

  37. Loser says:

    Just quit, don’t come here whining.

    All this black dog bollocks. Get a fucking grip, imagine if anyone in the war started shitting it like you. Imagine if Doctors started it, Oh woe is me. Oh ME ME ME.

    Get off your lasy arse, and get back on the job.

    I for one feel really sorry for you. Oh that’s right I don’t.

    Get back to work you lazy bastard.

  38. ken says:

    dude, shut the fuck up. “In the war” is precisely why people go into the ambulance service to help people as opposed to kill them. Magwitch is not lazy, and yes people do occasionally crack under the pressure of doing a stressful job under poor pay with bad management. If they had broken their leg you wouldn’t have said that, so have a little respect for people who are ill.

  39. Ren says:


    Bad times when you feel you have to call it a day.

    If the Black Dog has been visting, you should look to see how you can teach it a lesson and bannish it.

    Please do not get stuck in the nasty world of turmoil, there is a way out, you can find that help. Someone, some organisation can help you find the way.

    Find that way. Do not let this rule your life.

    Take great care, Look hard and do the thing that feels right to you.

    Be good.

  40. Mark Myers says:

    Sorry to hear about both the blog and the job. But it’s clear you’re not happy, and no-one should do something for a living that makes them unhappy. I worked in jobs I hated long enough to know how soul destroying it is. Good luck in finding something that you enjoy — and maybe something that’s worth starting a new blog about!

    — Mark

  41. Sage says:


    Sorry to hear that you are giving up this blog, but you must do what you feel is right for you at this time. All the advice from any of us (amateurs and/or professionals) is not necessarily helpful when you are suffering a visit from the black dog, but I wish you well for the future, whatever it turns out to be for you.


  42. Ken says:

    I know. Shame he stopped huh?

  43. […] My handing-in of a resignation was enough to get some management to sit up and take (a bit) of notice. We talked; I saw the occy health doc; I saw my own doc; we talked some more; came up with a few alternatives, none of which management seemed to want to do anything about. In the end I had a short time off work to get my head back together and started back on the happy pills. Judging by some of the comments I got to The Last Post, there was a small group of readers from the “stop winging and get on with it brigade”. They’ve probably never suffered from depression but they’re entitled to their opinions just as I’m entitled to live my life my way. Anyway, things are pretty much back to normal. I’m still running around as an ECP and I’ve still NFI what I’m doing; but I’m back having fun doing it all the same. […]

  44. Ted says:

    The 19th century lasted from 1801 through 1900 in the Gregorian calendar. Historians sometimes define a Nineteenth Century historical era stretching from 1815 (The Congress of Vienna) to 1914

  45. Jake says:

    This is great, bookmarked, thanks!

  46. rogue gunner says:

    I wish you all the best in all you do, thanks for a great Blog.


  47. Ian Hepburn says:

    Yes I know exactly what you are going through,I took early retirement as a Paramedic after 20 years being qualified and 28 years on the road,when I retired I went back as an Emergency Care Support Worker

  48. Ian Hepburn says:

    Yes your rirght about the state of the Ambulance Service in this country;I took early retirement after 20 years as a Paramedic and 28 years on the road and went back as an Emergency Care Support Worker which as you propably know is a blue light driver.I now actually miss the hands on with patients,but having asked to resume my previous position as Paramedic I have now been told thatr I must apply for positions with the rest of people with 2 years experience

  49. лякa says:

    Приятно думать, что остались действительно стоящие блоги в этой мусорке рейтинга Яши. Ваш – один из таких. Спасибо!

  50. тёткa says:

    Это хорошо что вы начали вести блог,ведь у вас это отлично получается и надеюсь будет еще лучше. Главное писать о том,в чем вы разбираетесь. Удачи. 🙂

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