Policing with the National health….

I am not entirely sure when I first started to notice a difference, but lately I had just been flabbergasted just how much the Ambulance Service and the NHS makes our work as Police officers more frustratingly difficult. Let’s make it clear – this is not about the persons on the ground, before I get it in the neck again.

Our local hospital and ambulance station isn’t a million miles away from us, and yet, why is it when we need their services they might as well be?
On my last night I was mooching about when officers got a call to say that a male had a head injury and was on his own laying in the street. Turns out he was very drunk, had fallen over and cut his head on the way down. Officers arrive, along with a paramedic response car. Paramedic states he needs to go to hospital, so far so good. Paramedic calls up for the wagon and gets told there are no ambulances free. The waiting time will be at least one hour. Sorry? Did I hear that right? Yes, one hour. So what were we meant to do with the male? Let him bleed over the streets? Perhaps the paramedic could take him? No. So it was left to us. Now there was a fair chance he would bleed/vomit/urinate in the back of the car, and that would then have to go off the road, but what were we meant to do? My officers took him up there, booked him in to the warm welcome of the nurses in A and E.

Public Order a couple of weeks ago, a female had collapsed on the street, no doubt alcohol induced, however, she was sixteen years old, shivering and rapidly getting worse. We find a foil blanket to wrap her in. We call for a ambulance, it will be one hour at least, it is coming 80 miles away. So Public Order officers are tied up with sitting with her until ambulance arrive and not being able to be deployed to other pressing issues. They came 1 hour and 40 minutes later. In the meantime, there had been 5 public order incidents in that time.

Another fine example, a male was taken up to the hospital by Police as they were concerned for his mental health. As he was intoxicated they said there was nothing they could do and he was discharged. He had nowhere to go, he got hypothermia, and Police found him dead the next day, there then was a ‘seal’ for the next 8 hours which took up several officers time, CSI, and having to go and tell his family what had happened.

Can you see a pattern developing ? Do not think for one minute that I am looking at the ambulance staff or nurses to blame for this, as I am not. It is, once again, the government cutbacks which are causing these issues. They are having cuts made to themselves too, and it is having a devastating effect on everyone.
If the male who had the head injury had been having a heart attack, I am sure the outcome would be that he had died, we would have tried resuscitation, and got him in the police car as fast as we could have up to the hospital. But he wouldn’t have stood a chance.
If the girl had have been taken by ambulance sooner, then the Public Order could have saved someone else from being assaulted, or been able to stop other disorder on the street.
If the male who had been taken up to the hospital and been kept in until sober in order to have a mental health assessment – he may well be alive today.

We need to be thinking about why we do the jobs we do. Police, Paramedics, Nurses, doctors, fireman etc, why do we do it? Because we care. Why can’t we always do our jobs? Because there are cut backs and red tape preventing us from doing that job properly.
I would hate to think how many people have died as a result of red tape or cutbacks, just because there wasn’t enough ambulances, staff or police on that shift.

We do have a very good relationship with our ambulance crews, and in general the nurses and
Doctors, however on occasions, as we all do, we get the bad attitude when they are busy, and can be quite difficult, but what I always try and remind myself is when they have a difficult patient it can work both ways do we don’t take it personally. We all get stressed.
Fire Officers can be a bit hit and miss, there are a handful who wave or talk at a scene, but generally they don’t tend to mix, which is a shame, as we are all meant to be one big team. Team ‘Emergency Service’.
When you speak to doctors or nurses in A and E, you sometimes get the sharp end, but we aren’t there to give them a hard time, we are just there doing our job too. They aren’t there to serve us- they are there to serve the public.

We are all being hit hard by the proposals and the cuts already implemented. We are all feeling it, we all get stressed and upset when we go to jobs where we cannot save someone and then we have to go round and break the news to their families, and I have seen grown men cry, so when you read this, I am just asking you all for your support of each other, not just in the Police, but all the emergency services.
We are going through very tough times, with little or no support from the government who are trying to save money, taking it away from the services that really matter to this country, so that they can still remain unaccountable and have their wages and a fine pension at the end of their careers.

Just remember to support one another, and if you are one of the other fine Emergency Services reading this, then please pledge your support for your Police Officers as one day when you really do need us, you will be told there aren’t any, or the nearest is an hour and a half away.


5 Responses to “Policing with the National health….”
  1. sadbutmadlad says:

    It might be the government asking for the cuts, but it’s the ones actually implementing the cuts who are the problem. They are the ones cutting back on front line staff whilst keeping their own jobs (along with the perks). Do turkeys vote for christmas? Nope. Neither will managers sack themselves to save money. It’s the front line who actually do all the real work. Managers do not add much to an organisation’s efficiency, in many case they actually worsen it due to their lack of training. Look up the Peter Principle.

  2. Pc 418 Bangs says:

    I have just read your blog about the ambulance service. I thought it was just Northamptonshire that had this problem. Last week I attended an RTC. Female waited over an hour for an ambulance to arrive so first responder could examine her as she had chest pains. Before Christmas I attended an RTC when an elderly gentleman had a stroke. We waited so long for an ambulance some colleagues rushed him off to hospital after we had bundled him into the car like a piece of meat. The list goes on. A local MP has brought this to the attention of parliament and I was going to give her some examples last week but decided against it after a few colleagues said I could get into trouble. I knew myself I would probably get into trouble but this really concerns me.

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