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I am a paramedic on strike today. AMA

238 replies

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 16:29

Hi from the freezing cold picket line. Any questions related to the strike, the current state of the NHS or general paramedicing feel free to ask.

Disclaimer: obviously answers are based on my own opinions and experiences. They may not be the same for other paramedics/EMTs or in other trusts.

OP posts:
fivetriangulartrees · 23/01/2023 18:49

A question not about the strikes... Do ambulances/paramedics carry epipens?

My 2 year old son has allergies but is not deemed at high enough risk of a serious reaction to warrant being prescribed an epipen. In the event of anaphylaxis, his consultant advised us to call 999 rather than try to drive him to A&E or call a taxi. If that ever happened, would a paramedic be able to treat him as soon as they arrived or would they be taking him to A&E?

gollygumdrops · 23/01/2023 18:49

Just wanted to add my full support. Huge respect to you and all your colleagues for everything that you do ❤

Iwonder08 · 23/01/2023 18:50

OP, when you chose your noble profession, did you research the compensation level and pay rises stats?

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 18:52

dreamingbohemian · 23/01/2023 18:34

Thanks for answering my question OP. I'm still a bit confused though after reading this comment from @whatyoulookingfor :

If people used common sense and stopped calling ambulances because on a Sunday they suddenly decided that their 6 week old cough might be a problem (clue: if it's 6 weeks old and hasn't dramatically changed it can probably wait another 24 hours) then we wouldn't be so swamped and the algorithms would probably be fine. However instead we end up going out to the worried we'll or people who should access care more appropriately elsewhere

* So basically, if someone calls with a six-week-old cough, they get an ambulance no matter what? It's not possible to tell them it's not serious enough, they need to go to the GP?
And, if a call handler can't tell whether they need an ambulance or not, how are untrained normal people supposed to know?

I'm not trying to be critical in any way, it's just something I'm really curious about. Do algorithms actually help or are they making it worse?

I'm not a call handler, but as I understand it they ask certain questions and the answers lead you down a certain pathway with fuethwe quwstions. I imagine that the 6 week old cough would trigger the respiratory card with associated questions, the answer to which may generate an ambulance response. It also might trigger the chest pain card and do similar. Or the answers may generate a call back from a paramedic who will conduct a phone assessment. Or they might direct the patient to call 111.

The call handlers can only go off the answers the patient is giving. They cannot question the integrity of the caller. So if Mr 6 week cough is on the phone stating that he can't breathe, then he can't breathe and he gets an ambulance.

OP posts:
ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 18:53

ofwarren · 23/01/2023 18:42

Solidarity from me too!
I nipped over to our local picket with the cakes this morning. Everyone seemed in good spirits and the constant beeps of support from the traffic going past was lovely to hear.
Good luck 👍

Cake fairy!!!!

OP posts:
ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 18:55

kelpie9 · 23/01/2023 18:44

I don't believe strikes achieve anything.

Can I ask if you find it difficult to manage on your wage how are you going to manage without pay for the days you stike?

I respect your opinion. What do you think we should do instead?

I have to do overtime to be able to do anything other than live in my home and pay my bills. I will do extra overtime to compensate for the money I lose on a strike day.

OP posts:
DeadbeatYoda · 23/01/2023 18:56

Just wanted to send you and your colleagues my wholehearted support.

mrsdeee · 23/01/2023 18:57

Absolutely!!! 🤣🤣
In order to save my back and my sanity!! 🙌

CJat10 · 23/01/2023 18:57

Solidarity with you. I feel like paramedics and nurses are taking a stand on behalf of the public over the state of the NHS. Its more than pay

NeverDropYourMooncup · 23/01/2023 18:57

In my experience

The Police officer will walk around and shout a lot to maintain order. So you might see their feet and hear them.

The Firefighter will stand around as soon as they're sure nothing's going to go bang. So you'll possibly see their boots in the distance.

  • but the Paramedic lays down on the cold ground as you're underneath the vehicle, holding your hand, keeping you calm, looking in your eyes and telling you they're going to look after you.


All have huge value, but it's the Paramedics who are the friendly faces when you're at your most vulnerable.


Thank you - I support you all completely. You don't deserve to earn a basic less than mine when all I do is witter on about processes and statutory guidance.
HallieHufflepuff · 23/01/2023 18:59

I wonder why people earn £000s more that I do and strike but I'm not allowed to strike. I just have to struggle on a low wage.

I also pay my taxes so hope my medical care won't suffer as a result of the strikes.

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 18:59

fivetriangulartrees · 23/01/2023 18:49

A question not about the strikes... Do ambulances/paramedics carry epipens?

My 2 year old son has allergies but is not deemed at high enough risk of a serious reaction to warrant being prescribed an epipen. In the event of anaphylaxis, his consultant advised us to call 999 rather than try to drive him to A&E or call a taxi. If that ever happened, would a paramedic be able to treat him as soon as they arrived or would they be taking him to A&E?

We don't have epipens as that is the word for the automated injection cartridge that people with allergies carry with them and can be used effectively by any bystander. Wonderful things.

We carry vials of adrenaline which we draw up and use in case of anaphylaxis. We also have hydrocortisone and intravenous chlorphenamine (piriton). So yes, if your son has an allergic reaction absolutely don't hesitate to call.

OP posts:
ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 19:00

Iwonder08 · 23/01/2023 18:50

OP, when you chose your noble profession, did you research the compensation level and pay rises stats?

I absolutely did not! 🤣

OP posts:
user1471453601 · 23/01/2023 19:00

take this 👏👏👏 and this 😍😍😍.

And a big than you for your attempts to save the NHS

ShirleyHolmes · 23/01/2023 19:01

Solidarity from a Social worker in adult social care. And thank you for all you do.

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 19:02

HallieHufflepuff · 23/01/2023 18:59

I wonder why people earn £000s more that I do and strike but I'm not allowed to strike. I just have to struggle on a low wage.

I also pay my taxes so hope my medical care won't suffer as a result of the strikes.

Legally everyone has the right to organise themselves into a union and every union has the right to carry out strike action.

As I have stated many many times above, patient care is not being compromised.

OP posts:
ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 19:03

HallieHufflepuff · 23/01/2023 18:59

I wonder why people earn £000s more that I do and strike but I'm not allowed to strike. I just have to struggle on a low wage.

I also pay my taxes so hope my medical care won't suffer as a result of the strikes.

Oh and funnily enough, I also pay taxes!!

OP posts:
Sparklingmoonshine · 23/01/2023 19:03

A nurse/midwife here- just offering my support. You all are doing an amazing job in a very challenging & frustrating time in our current healthcare system.
We are all( nurses/paramedics/junior doctors)telling the politicians basically the same things- let’s hope they finally listen.
The best basic life support training I have ever got in my 40 years of practicing so far was from a paramedic.

Grumpybutfunny · 23/01/2023 19:05

From another under funded part of the NHS. What is your opinion on other options open to the government;
*Dissolving student loans
*Increasing pay for OOH
*Reversing the downbanding so like what was once a 6 role has become a 5 role etc

Personally I would love to see them redraw agenda for change and do job matching I have a feeling most of us would move up a band!

1000yellowdaisies · 23/01/2023 19:05

I am in favour of the strikes and i absolutely support you.
I just had a question though. If the pay for all NHS staff is set nationally by agenda for change and all roles are banded, surely its not as simple as giving just paramedics and nurses a pay rise. A increase for a band 5 nurse would mean an increase for a band 5 admin manager.
Do do you think all NHS staff should be getting payrises and is that realistic?

pompei8309 · 23/01/2023 19:07

How is that 5% going to help with the “ overworked” feeling? are you ok to be overworked but with a bit more money in your pocket? staff retention is not more important than training new people. I’m sorry but no sympathy from me .
Staff that leaves NHS only goes to agencies and they’re still sent to NHS to work but with a higher hourly rate so NHS is not really losing any numbers , is just a badly run business .

bakewellbride · 23/01/2023 19:10

A paramedic's wife here! Sending you my support. It's a tough job.

eatsleeppaddle · 23/01/2023 19:18

I support you 100% as does most of the country am sure.

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 19:18

1000yellowdaisies · 23/01/2023 19:05

I am in favour of the strikes and i absolutely support you.
I just had a question though. If the pay for all NHS staff is set nationally by agenda for change and all roles are banded, surely its not as simple as giving just paramedics and nurses a pay rise. A increase for a band 5 nurse would mean an increase for a band 5 admin manager.
Do do you think all NHS staff should be getting payrises and is that realistic?

Yes, I think everyone should get a pay rise in line with inflation. I was and A&E receptionist before I joined the ambulance service and my god do they deserve more money!

OP posts:
4thonthe4th · 23/01/2023 19:20

ParamedicOnStrike · 23/01/2023 18:38

I don't think the paramedic degree ever had the bursaries, no. They were around when I was at uni though (a non medical degree), back when tuition was only 1500 a year!

My trust's current in house course is actually a degree course too, so you'd be mad to go straight to uni. I don't think a lot of students realise it's an option though.

I agree with you completely! I also think the old school method of rising through the ranks gives much more on an insight to the role.
My dad was the same as your dad; one of the firsts! He thinks the route you yourself took is the best one. A lot of the retention issues in his trust seemed to be the ones that have come via uni. May differ elsewhere. Hope you’re home soon in the warmth!

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