An endangered species?
So, its official. Dial 999 and you’ll get a car. The Evening Standard carried an article the other day:
London Ambulance seem to have decided that the whole service will be geared entirely around achieving government ORCON standards. They’ll be dispatching paramedics from home – (out here in the sticks we have first responder groups). Its all about getting someone (anyone!) there within the required number of minutes and ticking the right boxes. As has been said before: Get there within 8 minutes and the patient dies – that’s a success; get there in 9 minutes and save their life – that’s a failure.
The London Ambulance Service is investigating ways to speed up 999 response times before new targets are introduced. Paramedics and technicians-must be on the scene at 75 per cent of all life- threatening – or Category A – calls within eight minutes.
Mr Todd (assistant director of operations) said: “As we move closer to the new clock start we are contemplating becoming much more reliant on cars and solo responders in the first instance. … Eventually, most Category A calls and all Category B calls will be sent a paramedic in a car in the first instance.
Specially equipped ambulance cars will sit outside the homes of on-call medics to deal with emergencies in their neighbourhoods.
Of course in typical ‘ambulance style’ management, the senior staff are using all the usual incentives to encourage staff to help them meet these targets.
In a raft of new measures, league tables of each paramedic’s performance will be drawn up and those who perform badly will be asked for an explanation.
Identifying individual staff who take longer to reach emergencies or hand over patients at hospital, and finding out why it happens.
Excellent! Management by bullying! No wonder the NHS is such a mess.