EXCLUSIVE: Could This Be The Start Of Another ‘Winter Crisis’?

If you are in the emergency services, then you will probably already know just how over stretched most services are at the moment.

If you are not in the emergency services, but have friends/family members who are, then you will probably also have some idea in relation to how bad things are. 

We were contacted this afternoon by an anonymous source who told us that East of England Ambulance Service is being badly hit with the increase in demand Vs lack of available resources. 

The East of England Ambulance service are currently trying to recruit qualified EMT’s in order to try and shore up the shortfall that has been caused by an exodus of people leaving the service. 

In the anonymous correspondence that was shared with our team, the message to ambulance staff said: 

‘Surge actions update. Afternoon all, can all staff please be aware of the following actions: 

‘Due to an increase in very high demand staff can now be used for C2 calls within their 15 minutes disturbable. 

‘Second action which has been agreed, staff are not to complete service journeys on their way back to stations for a meal break due to increase in demand. 

‘Above actions implemented by the Tactical Operations Cell’. 

Our source told us: 

“Our crews are exhausted, both physically and emotionally. They are leaving in droves at the moment. 

“And staff are thanked by having their disturbable removed, and can’t even stop to get food or a drink if needed”.

“The pressures we are under is unprecedented.

“I firmly believe not only the service but the frontline staff are at breaking point.

“ARP has seen the new coding create blood in urine/catheter as a C1 meaning no disturbable.

“Anxiety attacks are now c2

“We’re being crucified from every possible angle”.

Just how ambulance staff are expected to be able to function when the chances of them being tasked with a call during their tiny meal break window is not clear.

Staff need to be able to have periods of ‘downtime’ for refreshments so that they can prepare themselves for the next call. 

Simply sending resources to call after call after call, when the ambulance crews are not being given a chance to take on food and water is not only a health & safety risk for the crews, but for patients too. 

In a job that requires as much concentration as is needed in the ambulance service, when medics are dealing with life-or-death situations, then breaks are an essential part of ensuring that crews are able to deal with what is being thrown at them. 

Of course, many of us will remember the winter crisis that happened last year where dozens of ambulances, around the country, were being made to wait with their patients for extended periods of time after arriving at A&E. 

Our source has told us that owing to peoples shifts being mucked around during the summer, loads of people left East of England Ambulance service – a fact that is no doubt contributing to the current ‘crises’. 

Our source said: 

“Through the summer they started consultations to muck around everyone’s rostas, as a result we lost a huge amount of staff.

“111 also creates a huge portion of our work load and too many people are relying on the ambulance service in order to ‘ferry’ them to hospital rather than making their own way.

“We live in a culture where we can’t say no anymore for fear of being sued should something go wrong.

“GPs themselves inappropriately book ambulances to convey patients to hospital”.

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