Heart attack? Wait longer for an ambulance: Huge 999 shake-up means slower response times for millions

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Heart attack? Wait longer for an ambulance: Huge 999 shake-up means slower response times for millions

Post by Thorin on Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:47 pm

Major overhaul of the 999 service will mean 8-minute response target scrapped
Those who suffer heart attacks are now likely to have to wait 18 minutes for help
In some cases, delay could be 40 minutes for those needing medical attention


The existing system is also open to abuse, with ambulance trusts using cars and motorcycles to hit response time targets even though the vehicles cannot carry patients to hospital. The shake-up has alarmed campaigners because swift treatment is critical in both heart attack and stroke cases.

‘None of this seems very reassuring at all for patients,’ said Joyce Robins of Patient Concern. ‘It seems more like they are rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. It is hard to see the benefit for patients, when many are being told they may have to wait longer if they have had a heart attack or stroke.’

Half of 999 calls are currently classed as life-threatening – requiring a response within eight minutes.
The category ranges from cardiac arrests – where the heart has actually stopped beating – to breathing difficulties, traffic accidents, suspected heart attacks and strokes. However, under the new system, only 8 per cent of calls, including cardiac arrests, will be classed in this top tier. An ambulance should arrive within seven minutes. Suspected heart attacks and strokes will fall into the next category, with ambulances taking an average of 18 minutes. The way the targets are being measured is also changing – meaning some patients could wait a lot longer.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4694688/Huge-999-shake-means-slower-response-times-millions.html#ixzz4mkqSSJzD


I will be interested as to what people say on this and how the article has been written to see how people react.

The problem here, as has always been the case is the assessment of calls.
How the system is geared to generally classed many calls as emergencies.
Where non-medically trained call handlers, have a limited knowledge. Where they cannot overrule the system without clinical advice. This takes time of course. The system is geared to air on the side of caution, on where it cannot rule something out and how people answer questions.


Last edited by Thorin on Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:56 pm; edited 2 times in total

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