In response to public concern, last week the Eastern Daily Press regional newspaper launched its Ambulance Watch campaign, focusing on the plight of the emergency ambulance service in East Anglia.
The campaign was launched with a questionnaire asking for feedback from the public and continues with regular articles focusing on related stories from the local area. They have summarised the questionnaire responses so far, with response times and delays being chief amongst the concerns of the public.
I am grateful that the EDP has given some consideration to the road staff who are under extreme pressure to continue delivering good clinical care in an increasingly challenging working environment.
Today, I had the opportunity to present the paramedic perspective in a piece the EDP entitled “Paramedic says ambulance service in East Anglia is ‘broken’.” In it, I attempted to convey the hardships that face ambulance personnel as they are continually squeezed to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to achieve targets.
With the inevitable 999 delays that are already apparent, I am aware that when people are in a state of heightened concern their frustration may be misdirected. It is my hope that the public will not hold ambulance crews responsible for the failings of Ambulance Trusts as a result of irresponsible government demands.
The full EDP Ambulance Watch campaign has thus far included the following articles.
- Elderly woman spent last day alive in pain due to ambulance wait
- Have your say on our ambulance service
- The main concerns with our service so far?
- 88-year-old had four-hour ambulance wait after breaking her hip in north Norfolk
- Paramedic says ambulance service in East Anglia is ‘broken’
As I stated in my previous article “How the Public Could Save Their Doomed Ambulance Service”, the onus is as much on the public to take greater responsibility to educate themselves to use services appropriately as it is for the government to reconsider their current path which is putting lives in danger.
It is good to see a regional newspaper stepping up and I hope that other organisations and even the man on the street can play their part, as Act on Ambulances has done. After all, it is in everyone's interests to push for a better ambulance service.