This account, from someone currently working in the Welsh Ambulance Service, has been sent into us anonymously. It gives a truly shocking insight into the ‘real world’ effect of Government targets being imposed upon the NHS.
Targets are for businesses. The NHS, is not a business:
“Obviously I’d like to remain anonymous but I currently work in the Welsh Ambulance Service Control Room and as a response to your post from a Control Manager just wanted to add some input………
over the Xmas period our managers have put into place ring fencing of our RRV’s [Rapid Response Vehicles] to attend red calls only, in response to the stats dropping below welsh government targets.
This means we can have RRV’s sat on station unable to attend chest pains, breathing problems, trauma etc.
Unless you are pretty much dead anyway, you will not get that help!
Unfortunately there have been quite a few occasions where people have originally come in as an amber 2 (20 min response). After a few hours they have bumped up to amber 1 (still 20 mins response), whilst a number of RRVs were available to attend but we are unable to send them.
After a few more hours they have become red calls (8 mins response) and of course by then it is too late, and they have died.
Managers who have no idea what is happening on the ground, making flippant decisions because of government targets, are killing people.
And we in the control [room] have to sit there staring at the same calls feeling utterly helpless and taking home the guilt that we have let someone die.
They on the other hand, get a pat on the back for keeping our targets up and usually swiftly move on to somewhere else.
I’m ashamed to tell people I work for the service I was once so proud to wear the badge of. Just thought I’d vent that, sorry”
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