A man in the UK died while waiting for an ambulance, because the closest crew was on a government required lunch break. We are told that this is the health care system is the one that we want to emulate, but is this really what we want?

EMAS chief executive Phil Milligan said: “Our practice on meal breaks comply, as they must, with the national NHS Agenda for Change employee terms and conditions, which require staff to be given a 30-minute undisturbed break.”

Andto those who think that EMS and fire, being public employees, should be treated like every other employee, remember that this is what you get when you want them to be like everybody else- when you need them, they might be out to lunch…

like everybody else.

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SiGraybeard · July 19, 2012 at 12:53 am

I'm sure old news to you – but I think it was last summer that they "solved" a problem of ER wait times being too long by just having all the ambulances line up outside. If the ER wait time is measured from when they're brought out of the ambulance and into the ER, just leave them in ambulances. Problem solved!

Oh, except for the next person who needs an ambulance. Kinda sucks to be them.

Divemedic · July 19, 2012 at 2:43 am

The new thing is called preregstration. The actually measure the time from when the ambulance arrives at the hospital until they are seen by staff, so what they do is have a person meet the ambulance as it comes in, and register the person. That stops the clock. Then they have the ambulance sit in the hallway with the patient on a stretcher, waiting for an ER bed.

Ambulance crews call it "holding the wall." I once held the wall for over 8 hours with a patient. We used to order pizza while sitting there waiting to turn the patient over to the ED staff.

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