Sussex Falls Down.

Sussex crews working out how to get to the nearest A&E

Do’h, even Homer could work this one out: Close A&E departments + make ambulances drive further to take patients to hospitals = less ambulances available for calls = response times fall. It’s not rocket science but Commissar Hewitt still hasn’t worked it out.

So it comes as no surprise to read that Mid Sussex is seeing a substantial fall in response times following the “downgrading of hospital services at Crawley Hospital and at the Princess Royal, which lost emergency surgery to Brighton 18 months ago under ‘Best Care, Best Place’ “

Sussex’s powerful Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee has requested detailed ambulance statistics from South East Coast Ambulance Service and has warned if evidence is not provided by February to show that ambulance journey times meet required standards under ‘Best Care, Best Place’, the issue could be referred to the Secretary of State for Health.

Once again, patient care can ‘go to hell’ – its all about how quickly you get a monkey on scene.


4 Responses to Sussex Falls Down.

  1. ecparamedic says:

    We have areas where a single closure would increase travel time by one hour, MIUs have already closed at night and the OOH service is using the ambulance service to cover their asses (take two paracetamol and call an ambulance if it hasn’t got any better).

    All this is having an impact on our service provision already, no doubt we’ll get reorganised…………, sorry, modernised as a punishment.


  2. Kingmagic says:

    In our area it has been mooted that all Paramedics will be trained further to a ECP level but without the enhanced prescribing powers that you have.

    This falls in line with the assumption that more patients/casualties will be treated and left at home. Which is not a bad thing in essence.

    So this will negate any need to travel out of area to other hospitals as the crew/RRV/RFU will remain closer to patch.

    But…and this is just a thought, the time saved in transport and turnaround times at the receiving hospital must be measured against the time taken whilst on scene treating/referring the patient/casualty. I can forsee management chasing crews/RRV/RFU to hurry up on scene to come clear for ORCON.

    I already treat & refer on scene where possible but I have the confidence and experience to do that and I always make sure the paperwork is spot on. But sometimes I may be on scene longer than it would have taken to transport the patient to A/E. If I,m not 100% sure on my diagnosis or I feel it more prudent to err on the side of caution then I will transport to A/E.

    The different trusts are looking at closing more community hospitals etc. because they will have us to fall back on…..again! We will be run ragged!

  3. ecparamedic says:

    I’m all for ECP skills being taught to paramedics, many of them (if not all) should be part of the basic course. We don’t prescribe by the way, we just have more PGDs than our colleagues.

    Having said that, if the patient didn’t need to go to hospital they wouldn’t be kept in would they? We should all default to admitting the patient if we aren’t sure. The community hospitals provide a valuable ‘step down’ service from the acute hospitals, losing beds in the community will result in elderly patients not quite well enough to go home being labelled ‘bed blockers’ again (can’t tell you how much I hate that phrase) and acute patients being stuck in A&E for hours.

    Based on past experience, that will mean crews nursing their patients in the corridor waiting for a hand-over = fewer ambulances on the streets.

    Wherever the beds are, if you take capacity out of the system you are heading for trouble. Reducing the bed/MIU access during Winter is madness.


  4. Scientist says:

    Places like Sussex which are full of market towns (not very urban, not very rural) have already had the smaller A&Es downgraded. So any more closures are affecting a system which has already had to adapt. I’m not surprised their response times are suffering.

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