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to think they should charge for ways ambulance time?

(86 Posts)
Softlysoftly Thu 11-Apr-13 15:38:55

Or would it prevent genuinely in need people from calling them?

At OOH drs last night (dd2 is v poorly just discharged on tuesday). And the woman in the queue in front was bitching and whining that the ambulance she called on 999 hasn't turned up and after 50 minutes they called and said they were over busy and they would pay for her taxi instead hmm.

This wasn't good enough so she'd walked in instead but was pissed off she had to a) wait b) the receptionist had the gall to ask if she'd canceled the ambo (she hadnt apparently why fucking should she when they'd mucked her about) shock.

She was in and out the drs in a flash, seriously nothing wrong with her.

I think she should have been charged for the ambulance she wasted aibu?

whomovedmychocolate Sat 13-Apr-13 13:25:24

I think the solution is to move the problem to A&E. If the rules were rewritten to say 'if you have been triaged and your problem is very minor, could be dealt with elsewhere, or did not require ambulance transportation, we promise to deal with you at some point within the next eight hours and for the first seven of which you can sit in a very dull white room.

I drove my MiL to A&E on Thursday after she had a respiratory arrest. In retrospect I should have called an ambulance but it probably WAS quicker because there was a football match on locally and I knew the ambulance service would been ages.

We were triaged very quickly and because she was actually okay (she's just REALLY old and doesn't recover well from coughing fits). So they left us in the waiting room for an hour to keep her onsite but not really requiring close monitoring (other than obviously me sitting there noticing if she fell of her perch).

While we were there a stroppy bitch woman came up to the reception desk f-ing and blinding about how she'd come in an ambulance for her stubbed badly injured toe and now had been sat in the waiting room for half an hour and why wasn't she getting priority treatment.

Receptionist was very polite. Much politer than I'd be in pointing out that method of transport does not influence treatment times. But ye gods, some people do seem to think an ambulance takes them to the front of the queue.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sat 13-Apr-13 11:35:09

I am one of those 'Don't want to he a bother' people. I deal with most things myself, and often catch a bus to A&E as I'm only 5 mins away - during the day, it's actually quicker to catch the bus than to wait for an ambulance.

However, there gave been a few occasions where ambulances have been called - for DS2's asthma, for DS3's allergies, when I had double pneumonia...

pinkyredrose Sat 13-Apr-13 11:25:32


Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:16:31

I know, I shouldn't have responded really! Some people really do think the world revolves around them and their children.

pinkyredrose Sat 13-Apr-13 11:14:00

MsBella has already shown herself to be an overentitled inconsiderate arse hence her posts on the 'children in restaurants' thread about how she allows her DC to 'explore' when they go out to eat.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 10:48:49

MsBella Fri 12-Apr-13 14:57:36
With my first 2 dcs I rang my midwife who called an ambulance both times- nobody said I was wasting time and it was a normal labour, I could walk, wasn't dying etc

Being in normal labour is an inappropriate use of an ambulance. At antenatal classes the midwife told us to work out our arrangements to get to hospital i.e taxi or car as being in labour was not an emergency.

ApocalypseCheeseToastie Sat 13-Apr-13 09:59:53


A complete and utter dickhead I know phoned an ambulance because she cut her babies finger when cutting his nails.....she was so distraught she was posting photos of the sorry saga onto facebook. hmm

Only problem I have with charging is some people may need an ambulance but be put off.

pinkyredrose Sat 13-Apr-13 09:35:46

bugsocute are you still hanging around talking total crap? Ah bless ya, don't worry school starts again on Monday.

Szeli Sat 13-Apr-13 08:09:30

I tore a bunch of ligaments in my ankle and broke my foot falling over when I was 16; over half an hour away from the nearest hospital.
Rang NHS direct for advice as I thought going to a and e would be time wasting - got told I had to go to hospital and must get in a taxi. Cost me a whole days wages to pay for it! Then I had to call my mum at 3am to let her know what had happened to see if she could meet me with some money if I got a taxi home.

I've refused ambulances a couple of times tho. Don't see the point if there's an alternative option; I did always offer to be the person to accompany the drunk or overdosing teens to hospital as a teenager as we used to go out in a small town where the school was and I lived in the city where the hospital was - got me nearer to home and I was usually the most sober/sensible person about anyways smile x

maddening Sat 13-Apr-13 07:36:14

Yes bags that would be misuse of the ambulance service.

bugsocute Sat 13-Apr-13 03:42:17

my sister rung them 1 time 1 of her feet got stuck in side a mice trap and it hurt her allot but the ambulance didnt take her away and before the mouse lover bridgage start fighting me mouse are evil peaces of work by the if i see 1 i would punch it. 1 got in to my plate and bowl cuboard 1 time stupid bitch i hate them so much ---TMI ALERT ---when i looked in side the cuboard there was so many pooes

MyShoofly Sat 13-Apr-13 03:20:09

YANBU. I think flagrant misuse needs to be addressed somehow. I worked as a 911 dispatcher for a time and there were people who would call saying they had a cough or whatever just for a ride into town etc. Many of those were "frequent flyers" so to speak....but we had to send an ambulance for legal reasons. A total waste of time and resources.

Still some of these people wouldn't have had the means to pay a perhaps a criminal misdemeanor charge with community service or something like that..? Who knows what would actually work though - how can you prove they didn't think they were ill?

Some people are just utterly entitled no matter what you do.

Tinuviel Sat 13-Apr-13 02:48:44

Called 999 for DS1 when he was 8 because he started to stagger about saying he couldn't see, collapsed, was semi-conscious with blue lips. Was told to take him to A&E in the next hour - absolutely refused to send an ambulance because there was a family history of migraine and the computer said he didn't need one! I had to prop him up in the car and carry him in as he still wasn't properly conscious.

Called OOH for advice when DS1 (about 12) got a fishbone stuck in his throat - they insisted on sending an ambulance because 'their computer said they had to'! I reiterated that he was fine, walking around, said I would take him straight to A&E, but no, an ambulance would be sent. I was mortified when the paramedics turned up and apologised before explaining that I hadn't asked for one. Who would be fined in that situation? Me or the OOH person?

edam Sat 13-Apr-13 00:18:07

DrGarnetts, I have a letter from the chief executive of the trust where I gave birth instructing me to call an ambulance when I went into labour - because I'd complained about their parking charges! WTF? (That particular hospital didn't do a flat rate for women in labour as many do, you have to pay by the hour - IIRC ds cost us £80 in parking charges alone because no, actually, I was not going to call out an ambulance entirely unnecessarily. Luckily at the time this wasn't a massive problem for us, but for some people on tight budgets it could be really nasty. You can hardly stand around waiting for a night bus when you are in labour...)

FeijoaVodkaStat Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:21

In Australia you are charged for ambulance call outs regardless of whether it's a genuine call or not. Thankfully ambulance insurance is very cheap and easy to get.

DrGarnettsEasterMixture Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsBella Fri 12-Apr-13 14:57:36

With my first 2 dcs I rang my midwife who called an ambulance both times- nobody said I was wasting time and it was a normal labour, I could walk, wasn't dying etc

Coffeenowplease Fri 12-Apr-13 14:53:55

I dont think it would work. There are situations where it isnt an emergency but people are frightened/unwell and need on the scene help anyway.

Eg. My friend fell down the stairs holding her 3 month old PFB. She wasnt hurt as such but was in such a state of panic that her baby might be hurt (and in a lot of pain - she also had an old leg injury that can be exacerbated severely by something small like tripping over so falling like that could have potentially really caused damage) that she called an ambulance. Who wouldnt in that situation. (I dont think she could walk unaided at this point btw)

I also nearly had to call 999 for a friend who took too many drugs - we were 17 and she made a huge mistake and was really ill - slipping in and out of consciousness. She never did it again after that and Id hate to think someone who is a grown woman with children now would not have deserved an ambulance because she made a mistake as a teenager. If we had been scared of a fine/not getting help I dont know. As it turned out she turned a corner about a minute later and started coming out of it but we were terrified and had 999 dialed and ready to press call it was so close.

Chelvis Fri 12-Apr-13 14:45:38

I'd rather an ambulance got sent to catch a spider or find a remote than someone die for fear of charges, as frustrating as it is to be wasting money on the first set of idiots.

I know when I worked for a GP that it was always the people with papercuts or one episode of slight diarrhoea who would kick up a fuss and want emergency treament/an ambulance. Then you'd get some lovely old chap who would make no fuss and - only because I'd have a gut feeling that something was really wrong - I'd ask why they needed an appointment, and they would have chest pain shooting down their left arm or have had a 'funny turn' and be numb down one side. I know of several lovely old people, my beloved Grandma included, who have died because they didn't want to make a fuss or be 'a bother'.

Longdistance Fri 12-Apr-13 14:34:37

Yanbu, what a waste of an ambulance.
If she could walk, she can get herself there, it's not a taxi service.
I however used them yesterday, as I broke my leg, badly, think of a foot swinging like a that needs an ambulance!

ReallyTired Fri 12-Apr-13 14:27:47

I wonder with smart phones whether there is a way of triaging someone via web cam or at least being able to talk through how to help someone before professional help arrives.

Wincher Fri 12-Apr-13 11:48:11

I used to be a work first-aider and in our training we were told to call an ambulance for pretty much anything - I think it's something to do with employer liability insurance. I only had to do so once, when someone fainted - if we hadn't been at work I probably wouldn't have done so.

I was at a (non-work) meeting this week when we had to call an ambulance for an elderly person who was vomiting and fitting, and semi-unconscious. I was quite surprised that it took about 20 minutes for a first responder to arrive, and then the ambulance to take her into hospital was about an hour. But she was doing OK by then so I guess they had triaged her properly.

Norfolknway Fri 12-Apr-13 10:15:57

I did a peadiatric first aid course last year and the senior fire officer that led it told us that if you need an ambulance for a child, always say its chest pains so that they send a paramedic rather than an ambulance that might me ill-equipped to deal.

I was a little hmm, but could see what he meant.

ReallyTired Fri 12-Apr-13 10:09:41

An ambulance is only appriopiate when you actually need medical help on the scene. There are existing laws for punishing people who call out an ambulance to ask a paramedic to change a light bulb.

"Something does need to be done about the callers who have virtually nothing wrong with them, I don't think this is it though."

I don't want anyone punished for an honest mistake. There are times when there is nothing wrong with the person, but the only way to be sure is to have a medical person check them over.

It is a good use of a paramedics time to check over a little old lady who has slipped on the ice. It takes medical training to be sure that she is just badly bruised and not having a stroke. Distinguishing between a heart attack and the symptoms of anxiety requires medical skill as well.

I think there needs to be complusory pychiartic help/ training for repeat offenders. Maybe there can be a choice between attending a training course or recieving a caution from the police.

Kendodd Fri 12-Apr-13 09:52:31

No I don't think people should be charged.

I would put people off calling in a genuine emergency.

Similar situation, I (eventually) went to the doctor with a 'bad cold' to be told I had pneumonia and then got a telling off for not coming sooner.

Couple of years later, I went back to the doctor with very similar symptoms, hacking up sticky green slime, to be told I had a cold and really didn't need to see a doctor about it, implication being that I was wasting their time.

We are not the experts, how are we to make that judgement? What if we get it wrong?

Something does need to be done about the callers who have virtually nothing wrong with them, I don't think this is it though.

For what it's worth, in almost all cases I would just drive the person the hospital myself, it would probably be quicker.

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