Ambulance Strife: Then and Now

A great insight into the recent history of one of our most essential services from a retired paramedic who writes with passion and sharp intelligence…one of the ‘old guard’ ambulance people I remember so well from my own time as an A&E nurse. Thanks, Pete, for reminding me of the way things used to work before Thatcher and scourge of privatisation…


You only have to turn on the news, or read a paper, especially regional news and press, to see the latest horror story about your Ambulance Service. Whatever part of Britain you live in, city or countryside, there is a good chance that someone will have been badly affected by the failure of their local Ambulance Service to provide them with the proper care. You must have seen some of the more high-profile cases. Ambulances that went to the wrong location, others who did not know their way to the correct hospital, and many more that arrive ridiculously late, or not at all, often resulting in tragedy. This is regularly blamed on the crews; their lack of knowledge, poor judgement or diagnosis, or issues surrounding training. Some reports rightly delve deeper, looking at the culture of cost-cutting, the lack of funding, and the unworkable size of most Ambulance Trusts.


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