Police Cars Used As Makeshift Ambulances
Police Officers Taking Patients To Hospital In Patrol Cars
Police officers have been using patrol cars as ambulances to compensate for a lack of specialist vehicles, The Guardian has reported. This situation – that has come to light via a leaked log of incident reports – could have been caused by several factors. Firstly, a shortage of beds at Accident and Emergency Departments have forced ambulance workers to care for patients over hours rather than simply stabilising/transporting them. As such, Ambulance Trust figures revealed that 3,424 patients waited more than two hours for handover in 2012-13 compared to 2,061 the previous year. This, of course, ensured that ambulances were effectively trapped outside hospitals rather than on the road. The Prime Minister (according to The Guardian) claimed that a contributing factor was that during this time a further one-million people visited Accident and Emergency compared to three years earlier. However, the Labour Party blamed National Health Service reforms and nursing cuts – and hinted that scrapping the NHS Direct Advice Line encouraged more people to call for ambulances. But whatever the catalyst hospitals have been struggling to cope with the volume of patients and senior medics have referred to the United Kingdom's Accident and Emergency Departments as “war zones”.
Leaked Police Logs Reveal Lack Of Ambulances
The Police have been involved with a variety of situations in the last few months. For example, according to a leaked log an officer was assisting a female who was “very ill” and there was no available ambulance in the region. The officer therefore requested permission from his control room to take the woman to hospital. Permission was denied but he disregarded the order. Upon arrival, the woman “collapsed and died” but medics were able to resuscitate her. Despite the favourable outcome, the officer was reported to his superiors for misconduct, i.e. breaching a direct order from the control room. A further incident involved a suicide attempt. The log indicates that a fourteen year old girl had taken an overdose and – even though an ambulance had been called – an officer was required because of her age and the fact she was home alone. However, there was no ambulance available so the officer was forced to arrange her transportation. There is nothing to suggest he was punished. Worryingly, another log reveals that an officer was told: “there is a seven-hour wait for an ambulance so don't call as you wont get one”.