Diagnosis? N.F.I.

Bravo Murray

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Alan Murray: at last, an ambulance chief with balls.

June’s edition of Ambulance Today has a 2 page interview with Alan Murray, the man charged with dragging Welsh Ambulance Service out of the mire. Amongst all the usual back-slapping over how wonderful the staff are and what a difficult challenge they all face there was one poignant question and, for once, an answer that didn’t reiterate all the usual shit, propaganda from the commissariat.

Q: “Should the Ambulance Service’s performance be evaluated solely on response times or are there other indicators which give a clearer picture of overall service-delivery?

A: “Response times are just a proxy for clinical effectiveness. We categorise too many of our 999 calls as potentially life-threatening and we need to focus much more attention on this area. I have an ethical objection to sending a five-ton vehicle at high speed through heavy traffic when we know the patient doesn’t need it. A clinically effective response to life-threatening emergencies is still a priority but we must find new and better ways of serving the rest of the 999 population. I would expect new measures to be more focused on good clinical outcomes and appropriate delivery of care and advice to people who don’t need an emergency ambulance. This is important to the patient but its also part of the Trust’s duty to its staff. If we expect EMS crews to respond immediately to 999 calls they have a right to know we won’t abuse that responsiveness.

Bravo Mr Murray! How refreshing to hear a Chief Ambulance officer speaking out and stating what road crews have been banging on about for ages. Pity that none of his peers have got the balls to put their heads above the parapet.

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