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To be pissed off with even a discussion about calling 999 in a non emergency.

(193 Posts)
Buddhagirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:17:26

There is a serious problem in this country with people calling 999 or going to A&E for medical problems that can be sorted by non emergency services.

It really really annoys me. There should be no debate. The nhs is overstretched, ring nhs direct, call your gp, go to a pharmacy, go to a drop in clinic. If it is serious drive to casualty, if it's life threatening call an ambulance. AIBU to expect people to do this and respect the nhs?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sat 13-Apr-13 12:19:42

Not everyone drives, and taxis can be extortionately expensive - and may well refuse to take you if there is any 'leakage' of bodily fluids.

Taxis in my town refuse to drive anyone in labour, for example, due to the leakage risks from waters breaking...

Buddhagirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:20:20

Or get a lift or a taxi to casualty. If you 100% can't get there without an ambulance and it's serious then I'm sure people will forgive you. Apart from that we should all stop expecting to be ferried her there and everywhere for a broken wrist or a bloody nose bleed.

Buddhagirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:21:22

Here *

Oh no a taxi is expensive? So is a bloody ambulance! Seriously.

ENormaSnob Sat 13-Apr-13 12:23:40


purplewithred Sat 13-Apr-13 12:23:57

Um, I am with you in principle (and I am associated with the ambulance service) - but if you are pissed off with the idea of discussing this why did you start a thread on it?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sat 13-Apr-13 12:26:38

Get a lift from WHO? None of my friends drive. I'm lucky that I live a 5-min bus ride away from the local hospital (purposely, due to multiple medical needs and disabilities in the family) and in all but life threatening emergencies, I go by bus.

However, if I lived on the other side if town, and was bleeding AT ALL, all the taxi firms would refuse to take me. What do you do then?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sat 13-Apr-13 12:28:25

If a taxi and a lift are not possible, and you are bleeding, or losing waters in labour, or vomiting or have diarrhoea (say, from noro, and requiring hospital treatment for dehydration) then how do you propose people GET to hospital?

featherbag Sat 13-Apr-13 12:32:25

With D&V, unless very young, very old or with other conditions which complicate things, I would suggest you DON'T Go to hospital! Couthy, you sound like so many entitled people who are the sole argument for charging for unnecessary ambulance call-outs which prevent those who really need them getting them in time.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 13-Apr-13 12:36:50

Waters leaking in a term pregnancy is not an emergency either, and a few maternity pads plus a plastic bag to sit on should pacific even the most militant of taxi drivers.

BeebiesQueen Sat 13-Apr-13 12:39:36

I've called nhs direct only for them to call us an ambulance and be told by paramedics that we didn't need an ambulance confused

Buddhagirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:41:15

Purple, good point! Basically I just want everyone to agree with me and validate my anger ;-)

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 12:43:13

Waters leaking is not an emergency that requires an ambulance. There are some taxi companies that will take women in labour. I just sat on a towel in the car.

Unless you are extremely dehydrated or a young child/baby on the risk of collapse there is no need to go to hospital with diarrhoea. It will pass, you can buy dioralyte from a pharmacy to replace the electrolytes you are losing. The reason diarrhoea and vomiting is so rife in hospital is because people turn up with it and it spreads.

featherbag Sat 13-Apr-13 12:44:52

Beebies, that's a huge problem too. I've spoken to 2 members of staff at 111 tis morning and 2 OOH GPs, and had to fend off emergency ambulances from all of them. I'm miscarrying, I know that's what's happening, all I wanted was a referral for a scan to make sure it's complete. I'm not shocked, I'm not hypovolaemic, it's not a burst ectopic, just an ordinary, everyday MC. Why the Hell would I need an ambulance?! Had to say to them eventually to send one if they absolutely had to, but under no circumstances would I be getting in it, and would much prefer it went to someone who really needs it. They finally gave up.

HolidayArmadillo Sat 13-Apr-13 12:45:11

Pacific? Pacify! Damn autocorrect making me look like an illiterate fool!!

Buddhagirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:45:56

In the case of noro you should ask the health care professional who told you to go to hospital for fluids. I'm not saying never ring an ambulance I'm saying try everything you can to get there without one if it is serious enough to require hospital treatment. People just come across like they expect the nhs to pick up all the pieces, we all have duty to look after the nhs, it is a luxury and a right at the moment, it may not always be that way.

Buddhagirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:47:34

Featherbag, your amazing xx

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 12:47:50

Don't even start me on people that expect transport home, that's a whole new thread...

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 12:48:27

I'm sorry Featherbag x

cansu Sat 13-Apr-13 12:51:25

I rang my GP for advice and medication at 4 pm as I had a very high temperature, persistent vomiting, and had the measles. I was told she couldn't get back to me until 6 pm and that if I couldn't wait I should phone an ambulance. I didn't and I continued to try and call. I couldn't get to surgery as had no one who could drive me and in fact couldn't walk. The reason people resort to calling an ambulance is because it is sometimes difficult to see a doctor unless you ring at 8 am or are able to travel across town to an out of hours service. More home visits from people's doctors would help enormously.

RhinestoneCowgirl Sat 13-Apr-13 12:54:29

I've never actually called an ambulance.

Recently I was worried about DD's breathing (she's 4). She'd been coughing a lot over night, was very pale, lethargic.

I wasn't really thinking straight (and it was of course a weekend, these things always happen out of hours) so I dug the buggy out and walked round to the local GP surgery as soon as they opened. The receptionist explained that I should have run OOH, but as I was there she would put a msg through to the GP.

We were seen immediately and the GP phoned an ambulance to take us to the children's hospital, as DD's breathing was by then so bad that she couldn't talk. I felt awful that I'd let it get that bad, but neither of the DC have ever really been that ill.

The GP called the ambulance not just because it would transport us to hospital, but so that the paramedics could continue to treat DD on the journey. She had a nebuliser at the surgery and then oxygen in the ambulance.

Ambulances are not just about transport...

Bobyan Sat 13-Apr-13 12:58:45

I find it very depressing the number of people who call 999 because they think they are entitled to a free ride.

You maybe vomiting, bleeding, etc but by using an ambulance you are depriving someone who might not be breathing, could be bleeding profusely and needs lifesaving treatment.


This is very relevant to me right now. Was woken by my 15 month old coughing and struggling to breathe one night last week. He was a bit distressed but not pale or blue and soon cheered up but I rang 111 as his breathing was still very ragged. I spoke to the woman in the phone with ds on my lap and she was so concerned by what she could hear of his breathing that she called an ambulance. naturally by the time they got to us he was fine but we were told that because he was under 2 it was protocol to take him to hospital. He had a high old time. nowt wrong with him but an attack of Croup. I feel mortified to have wasted nhs resources but it wasn't my decision to call the ambulance. What should I have done?

Bobyan Sat 13-Apr-13 13:08:07

Children's conditions can change very rapidly and breathing difficulties must be seen. You did the right thing.

Its the fuckwits who have sunburn or have a cut finger that make me irrate.

41notTrendy Sat 13-Apr-13 13:08:19

That's the point the OP is making, do what you can before you ring 999. It's the numpties that ring before even thinking about it.

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