People are getting a tad wound up about the increasingly dangerous NHS 111 shambles, and rightly so. However, it’s worth pointing out that, on March 15 I waited over an hour for an “emergency” ambulance to take me to Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral. The question of how life-threatening a situation was, was apparently decided by a coin toss. Certainly, no medical judgement was employed at any point because it was clear I was talking to a complete ignoramus.
On arrival at the hospital, I found that my hour wait was all too common, with enraged people berating ambulance staff over it. One explanation, from an ambulance crew, that I overheard, was that the fleet of ambulances that used to be deployed at APH was now scattered around the Wirral (when it hadn’t simply been disposed of), and that APH’s allocation of meat wagons was – and if true this is fucking criminal – a mere two vehicles.
Frankly, I see no reason to disbelieve the explanation, as I was stuck in admitting for hours, and kept seeing the same crews over and over again, which does rather lend credence to the two vehicle story. Also, six weeks later when I was sent home, what used to be the ambulance bay was crammed – with minibuses and taxis, with not an ambulance to be seen.