Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Ambulances are not taxis

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Shirley Campbell criticises the Ambulance Service ( Write Back, December 4), but what the public don't realise is that, on a good night, roughly 10 ambulances cover Belfast, Holywood, Dundonald and Carryduff.

Between midnight and 8am we provide an Emergency Ambulance Service. Please note, it is an Emergency Ambulance Service. The Sister in the RVH was right not to get an ambulance out at 3am for Shirley's mother as it was not an emergency.

The Patient Care Service (PCS) deals with routine calls, such as in her mother's case, to return her to the nursing home.

All PCS ambulances are booked to attend to other patients, so one cannot suddenly be expected to leave a patient the next day just to pick up her mother from the RVH.

From the injuries that Shirley stated she could easily have got a taxi back to the nursing home.

So, while Shirley doesn't mention the Ambulance Service level of care to the hospital, she was quick to criticise the service after the hospital care.

What happened to her mother was tragic but she was in a safe environment in the RVH. The emergency ambulances are not taxis.

We are dealing with the sick, injured and dying while under threat of both verbal and physical violence. We are not 'sitting on our backsides'.

Stressed Paramedic, Newcastle

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