Now you see us: soon you won’t


An endangered species?

So, its official. Dial 999 and you’ll get a car. The Evening Standard carried an article the other day:

Home-start paramedics to speed up 999 response

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.

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9 Responses to Now you see us: soon you won’t

  1. Adam says:

    It sounds like there’ll be staff manning cars and less manning ambulances. So less ambulances, meaning longer waits for transport to hospital?

  2. Carmelo says:

    And when they change the ORCON game in 2009….
    ..which means at the moment ORCON is measured from when the resource is dispatched. In 2009 it changes to when EOC pick up the phone, essentially taking 2 or 3 minutes off ORCON times. No doubt times will go down.

  3. Millietant says:

    League tables? What with like a premiership and a third division etc? Will those in the premier league be paid more money and have wives that like to shop. Will the wives develop eating disorders and appear ‘airbrushed’ in the latest edition of ambulance times. Who will sponser the PremierPara’s, will it be Carlsberg, or more likely White Lightening ? I don’t think there’s an official supplier of heroin with the exception of Afghanistan.
    My original reason for posting was your ‘uk forces killed in action’ image at the top, having spoken to the father of a medic in Afghanistan the death toll is apparantly the tip of the iceberg which doesnt reflect the number of horrific physical and mental injuries, which are not being reported.

  4. Al says:

    Bloody great, I work for a different service and part of my responsibility is to put ‘league tables’ together. I always come out last.

    I remember traipsing for 55 minutes a few years back into another services area that had lots of cars and very few ambulances, the poor patient we had been called to had no less than four cars on scene attending to him from no less than two ambulance services, we came from a third service and landed just behind another ambulance from the original service. So for one patient – four cars, two ambulances, three ambulance services, confused? I was.

    Fortunately nowadays it would all be the same service anyhow so it wouldn’t be quite as astonishing. Good thing really, I think we shall see more of it. Desperately ill patients waiting for well in excess of the ‘golden hour’

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