Hundreds of East Lancs ambulance call outs attended by junior staff

Chorley Citizen: East Lancs ambulance calls outs attended by junior staff East Lancs ambulance calls outs attended by junior staff

HUNDREDS of ‘life threatening’ ambulance calls are not being attended by paramedics, with more junior staff being sent to the incidents instead.

This happened nearly 1,400 times in East Lancashire in the eight months to December, which represented about seven per cent of the calls.

Union bosses said the ‘red 1’ and ‘red 2’ incidents would have been attended by emergency medical technicians, who normally provide support to paramedics.

Further analysis showed five per cent of red 1 calls in East Lancashire were not attended by a paramedic, compared to 3.6 per cent across the North West. These cover cardiac arrests and patients with life-threatening trauma injuries.

North West Ambulance Service [NWAS] said the figures were partly due to difficulties in recruiting paramedics, which has left 14 vacant positions out of 503 in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Further data obtained through Freedom of Infomration laws suggested the ‘death rate’ for red 1 calls increased slightly, from 18.7 per cent to 20 per cent, for incidents where there was no paramedic in attendance. However, NWAS insisted this data was unreliable and statistically flawed.

Ray Carrick, who represents ambulance workers for the GMB union in the North West, said: “Technicians are able to deal with about 90 per cent of what a paramedic can do, but paramedics provide a more skilled level of care. We would very much like to see them filling these vacancies.

“The vast majority are technicians who have undergone another year of training, so I’m wondering why they would have any real difficulty filling the posts. We know there’s a lot of staff who want to do the training.

“We used to train them in house but now they go to university, so maybe there’s a problem with getting them places.”

Lisa Ward, head of human resources at NWAS, said: “There isn’t a national requirement to have a paramedic on every operational vehicle, however, it is our aim to deliver that for our patients.

“We are confident that in the coming financial year we will be able to fill the remaining vacancies.”

The current vacancies are covered through overtime, she added.

Comments (10)

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11:06am Sat 22 Feb 14

burner says...

. . " NWAS insisted this data was unreliable and statistically flawed "
.
I fear it's the service provided which is unreliable and flawed.
.
So many vacancies ? . . . then the pay is wrong.
. . " NWAS insisted this data was unreliable and statistically flawed " . I fear it's the service provided which is unreliable and flawed. . So many vacancies ? . . . then the pay is wrong. burner

11:30am Sat 22 Feb 14

Plodder laner says...

Another FOI request, stop wasting valuable time with FOI requests for meaningless stories. A good proportion of those jobs wouldn't have warranted an ambulance let alone a hospital visit
Another FOI request, stop wasting valuable time with FOI requests for meaningless stories. A good proportion of those jobs wouldn't have warranted an ambulance let alone a hospital visit Plodder laner

12:29pm Sat 22 Feb 14

cathedral citi says...

Plodder laner wrote:
Another FOI request, stop wasting valuable time with FOI requests for meaningless stories. A good proportion of those jobs wouldn't have warranted an ambulance let alone a hospital visit
last July, I started with sudden chest pains, and dialled 999, after having my GTN spray, and the pain wasn't alleviated. I then knew, that I was having a coronary (having suffered three in the past, and having had quadruple by-pass surgery)

the 'paramedics' turned up within a few minutes, and after 'wiring' me up, concluded that I wasn't having a heart attack....... I KNEW they were wrong, after all, I'd suffered myocardial events in the past, and know the symptoms.

Anyhow, they removed the wires, and suggested I make a cup of tea or coffee, and relax, as it was 'only' probably a 'bit of angina'
No sooner had they removed and bagged their equipment, that my sudden chest pain returned. the equipment was casually removed from their satchel, and I was rewired to the monitor.............
..'yes, we can now see that you're having a heart attack'!
I was dashed to the royal Blackburn for initial emergency intervention, and 20 minutes later, to Blackpool Victoria, for emergency stenting.

Both 'paramedics' were actually technicians.........
...their epaulettes confirmed that.
I dread to think what would've happened, had the chest pain recurred after they'd departed.
so, yes please, let's ensure that we have a qualified paramedic attend, where there is a potentially life-threatening situation..........
[quote][p][bold]Plodder laner[/bold] wrote: Another FOI request, stop wasting valuable time with FOI requests for meaningless stories. A good proportion of those jobs wouldn't have warranted an ambulance let alone a hospital visit[/p][/quote]last July, I started with sudden chest pains, and dialled 999, after having my GTN spray, and the pain wasn't alleviated. I then knew, that I was having a coronary (having suffered three in the past, and having had quadruple by-pass surgery) the 'paramedics' turned up within a few minutes, and after 'wiring' me up, concluded that I wasn't having a heart attack....... I KNEW they were wrong, after all, I'd suffered myocardial events in the past, and know the symptoms. Anyhow, they removed the wires, and suggested I make a cup of tea or coffee, and relax, as it was 'only' probably a 'bit of angina' No sooner had they removed and bagged their equipment, that my sudden chest pain returned. the equipment was casually removed from their satchel, and I was rewired to the monitor............. ..'yes, we can now see that you're having a heart attack'! I was dashed to the royal Blackburn for initial emergency intervention, and 20 minutes later, to Blackpool Victoria, for emergency stenting. Both 'paramedics' were actually technicians......... ...their epaulettes confirmed that. I dread to think what would've happened, had the chest pain recurred after they'd departed. so, yes please, let's ensure that we have a qualified paramedic attend, where there is a potentially life-threatening situation.......... cathedral citi

12:31pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Interocitor says...

For once, this FOI request is far from meaningless. All R1 and R2 emergencies should have a paramedic in attendance. Quite frankly we all should be equally worried and disgusted that nearly 1,400 had no paramedic .
For once, this FOI request is far from meaningless. All R1 and R2 emergencies should have a paramedic in attendance. Quite frankly we all should be equally worried and disgusted that nearly 1,400 had no paramedic . Interocitor

2:13pm Sat 22 Feb 14

mmickk says...

What it boils down to is the me me me selfish brigade that think its there god given right to a free taxi service to the hospital. Another is if it was free parking that would reduce unnecessary calls I guess some people just do not have the money for parking. And you have all the tossers that think its funny to hoax call 999. If people had a bit of respect for the service we would not need half the ambulances. If you look back in the LT there is plenty of stories of staff getting attacked there was a trainee a bit back that could not work again its not the money its having to work in war zone conditions that puts people off this profession.
What it boils down to is the me me me selfish brigade that think its there god given right to a free taxi service to the hospital. Another is if it was free parking that would reduce unnecessary calls I guess some people just do not have the money for parking. And you have all the tossers that think its funny to hoax call 999. If people had a bit of respect for the service we would not need half the ambulances. If you look back in the LT there is plenty of stories of staff getting attacked there was a trainee a bit back that could not work again its not the money its having to work in war zone conditions that puts people off this profession. mmickk

2:25pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Watcher Too says...

It used to be a requirement that all front line ambulances had to have a paramedic on them. When did this change? Was it to Improve the service!!
It used to be a requirement that all front line ambulances had to have a paramedic on them. When did this change? Was it to Improve the service!! Watcher Too

9:52pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Blue-tonic says...

75% of call outs does not need hospital conveyance by a front line emergency ambulance.
75% of call outs does not need hospital conveyance by a front line emergency ambulance. Blue-tonic

9:54pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Blue-tonic says...

1400 ? Half of them would be regular callers,
1400 ? Half of them would be regular callers, Blue-tonic

12:05am Sun 23 Feb 14

cutthebull says...

There are regular callers to the ambulance service who constantly state they have chest pain, or lie down in the middle of the road clutching their chest, this then gets the ambulance with a paramedic, diverting them for those who really need help! The patient who demands to be taken to hospital when they could make their own way their quicker or easier make up a lot of calls too. But no people think they have a right to get an ambulance to hospital, or they think getting an ambulance gets them seen quicker. Ambulance crews should be able to assess & say no this situation does not warrant an emergency ambulance. Theirs several regulars who constantly call 999 and have asbos against them & when they breech it the courts do nothing. We know more about the regulars lives than we do our own! Their are elderly who also call 999, they say ill because their lonely and want someone to chat to. Personally we should start charging (straight from benefits if needed) and if it's deemed a warranted reason for an ambulance then no money would be taken. The system is the problem and we've gone to soft on joe public!
There are regular callers to the ambulance service who constantly state they have chest pain, or lie down in the middle of the road clutching their chest, this then gets the ambulance with a paramedic, diverting them for those who really need help! The patient who demands to be taken to hospital when they could make their own way their quicker or easier make up a lot of calls too. But no people think they have a right to get an ambulance to hospital, or they think getting an ambulance gets them seen quicker. Ambulance crews should be able to assess & say no this situation does not warrant an emergency ambulance. Theirs several regulars who constantly call 999 and have asbos against them & when they breech it the courts do nothing. We know more about the regulars lives than we do our own! Their are elderly who also call 999, they say ill because their lonely and want someone to chat to. Personally we should start charging (straight from benefits if needed) and if it's deemed a warranted reason for an ambulance then no money would be taken. The system is the problem and we've gone to soft on joe public! cutthebull

6:32am Sun 23 Feb 14

Steven Seagull says...

Another FOI request by the Pyong Yang times.

So it's the ambulance service you're having a dig at now?

What next week? Fire service maybe? Coastguard perhaps? Mountain rescue?
Another FOI request by the Pyong Yang times. So it's the ambulance service you're having a dig at now? What next week? Fire service maybe? Coastguard perhaps? Mountain rescue? Steven Seagull

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