Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.
But first, the weather. Didn’t the rain come down in the night Monday into Tuesday, on and on and on, it was pelting on the Velux in my bedroom. Normally I don’t hear the rain as the bedroom is East facing and the rain tends not to come that way, but it surely made up for it. It woke Derek up at 3am as he said it was so heavy, but I must have been having a good old snore as I never heard a thing.
After a shower yesterday morning and a cool start the sun came out and very welcome it was too.
Summer, when was that, did I blink and miss it? And aren’t the mornings and nights drawing in quickly, I bet I’m not the only one who doesn’t like it. Christmas has started to rear its head too, as August seems to be the start of the Christmas Season to some shops. Myself, I can’t even begin to think about it when the sun is shining I don’t know about you, I just wish the shops would pack it in and let us have Summer, or what’s left of it.
It looks like, at last, that the ambulance service is having a good old look at improving the services that it gives, thank goodness I say and not before time.
They seem to have impossible targets to me, with the most urgent 999 calls being reached 68% of the time last year, below the target of 75%. At last, the targets have been scrapped and the paramedics are back to getting to the most serious cases within an average time of seven minutes, and within fifteen minutes in nine out of ten cases, which can only be a good thing can’t it, as I bet we all know cases of people waiting forever for an ambulance.
Also, ‘new’ questions have been added to the 999 operators list so that they can more easily recognise a case of cardiac arrest, which could save 250 lives a year. If I or a loved one were in that position, we would want saving wouldn’t we!
The red and green response categories have been replaced by categories number one to four, with the operators getting four minutes to send an ambulance. The usual triage questions that we are familiar with which can identify ‘urgent’ cases must be asked within 30 seconds and help prevent multiple ambulances going out.
After the usual questions that are asked to define the category that the patient is in, this means that urgent cases will have an ambulance sent in seven minutes. Thank goodness for that, the old ways are definitely the best I think anyway. That’s what the time limit used to be, it was unheard of for an ambulance to take half or three quarters of an hour to turn up, especially when a loved one is seriously ill don’t you think. The majority of these cases are cardiac problems, severe allergic reactions and other things that are a threat to life I suppose.
The next category for patients suffering from burns, epilepsy and strokes should have an ambulance there in 18 minutes and within 40 minutes in 9 out of 10 cases. Some patients can be treated at home while less urgent cases such as diarrhoea, vomiting, urine infections and such may be referred to their doctor or pharmacy.
Of course, the ambulance service seems to be being used in a totally different way to what it used to be, with lots of people dialling 999 for the daftest of reasons. I simply wouldn’t send an ambulance out to these calls, never mind ‘just in case’ it is such a waste of time and money when the service could be used for someone who really needs it. I must be hard hearted as I think that all these time wasters should be re directed to a service that is more suited to their needs, not clogging the NHS up like they do. When you see waiting rooms in A&E full of people with the daftest minor injuries or a sore throat, I simply and plainly would refuse to see them and direct them to their GP or chemist, but common sense seems to have gone out of the window, don’t you think.
I don’t think it is wrong to expect an instant response from an ambulance when you are watching someone possibly having a heart attack or whatever, not waiting while one turns up maybe too late. It’s people’s lives we are dealing with and maybe the public should be re-educated about how and when to use our valuable services instead of grabbing the ‘free’ service and expecting too much from an already over stretched hospital.
How they have the cheek to sit there with a scratch, which is something we’ve seen, I don’t know. I would tell them to go home and put a plaster on it, and stop the staff from being so soft to the detriment of really ill people who need the services of A&E and an ambulance, so that’s my five pennorth!
Personally I think it is brilliant that something is being done, now sort out the time wasters!