Leaving the station with ‘Blues & Twos’ going, we made our way through the early morning traffic towards our next client. With the new ‘Call Connect’ firmly in place we were once more obliged to ping off on ‘Red’ not knowing what we were going to! Who ever dreamt up ‘Call Connect’ must be far removed from the real world!
Halfway to our destination the update pops up on the MDT. “Female, 40s, collapsed, breathing diffs…RRV en route”. Maybe it was a proper job we were going to after all. We will see. Eventually arriving at the address we pull up behind the RRV parked outside. Making our way to the house we knock on the door and let ourselves in expecting to find the RRV pilot assessing/treating the patient.
Instead we find the RRV stood over the prone woman laid on her settee. The look from our colleague says it all…‘naff job’. The woman on the settee is doing a good impersonation of a dying swan. Very melodramtic and self pitying. “So whats the craick?”I ask the RRV pilot. She shrugs her shoulders and says that the woman is tired! Our colleague has already done the basics…BP, blood sugars, 3 lead ecg…all fine.
“I,ve got an appointment at the hospital for an xray but I,m so tired. Thats why I rang 999. I think it would be easier for you to drive me there.” I clench my teeth, the room drops a couple of degrees in temperature and my heart turns black! Before I say something that I might regret the patients womans daughter walks into the room. “Whats going on?”
“Your mum is tired and wants us to take her to hospital for her xray appointment!” The daughter looks at her mum and says that she was going to drive her there. “But I cant move, I,m so weak…and tired!” Stepping towards the woman I take hold of her shoulders and sit her upright. “Right then lets see what you are like on your feet.” And with that she slowly stands…and walks…marvellous! We have cured her!
“I think you will be okay to travel with your daughter. The only place we can take you to is A/E. And thats if you needed to be there…which you dont…!” My black heart is turning back to a more normal deep purple. I struggle to fathom out this womans reasoning for calling us. She seems reasonably intelligent, has a very nice house, a wonderful daughter going by first impressions and a clinical history suggesting a stress related fatigue. The xray was for reassurance by the GP as she seemed to be becoming too tired to sleep!
I put it down to her not thinking rationally due to fatigue. At least it was not as bad as the last time I got called to someone who wanted me to take the lid off their paracetemol bottle because they had a headache!
And that is where ‘Call Connect’ is failing. We are supposed to be ‘Getting to the Right Patient at the Right Time with the Right Resources’ Jobs like this are happening day in day out up and down the country in other Ambulance Services and also in the Police but the Police can use discretion on which calls to attend…like we should be able to!