'Don't play Russian Roulette with patients' lives'
ANOTHER ambulance crew member has claimed that lives are being put at risk in West Fife by service cuts, following last week's Press story.
She claims overstretched ambulance workers are turning up at deaths believing they could have made a difference if they had arrived earlier and that management are "playing Russian roulette" with lives.
We reported last week the concerns of ambulance workers and their trade union that certain shifts are not being covered to save money, putting extreme pressure on the service.
The woman contacted the Press to say, "I would like to follow up on your news story last week.
"I am a female paramedic working in Fife.
"The shortage of cover in Dunfermline is so true.
"Ambulances will regularly attend jobs in Dunfermline travelling from Cowdenbeath, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and further afield.
"One job recently was a 25-year-old male in cardiac arrest, just around the corner from Dunfermline station.
"His mother came running into the station courtyard screaming for help, as normal there were no ambulances on station.
"By a stroke of good luck there was an officer on station who heard the commotion.
"He drove around to the patient's house and managed to start CPR and deliver a shock with his defibrillator. He saved this young man's life.
"When we start our shift we do not get time to check our vehicle and stock, normally taking over from the crew before, they will alert us to what is needed.
"We will then leave the station and be lucky to return only for our meal break.
"I feel sorry for the people living in the Dunfermline/Rosyth area as they are not getting the service they deserve.
"When we arrive late to a job and the patient has passed away we as crews know we could have made a difference if we got there earlier.
"The management are playing Russian roulette with patients' lives. All we need is more crews and ambulances.
"The service is working on population figures in the past. It is not rocket science that the population in Dunfermline has grown.
"So I end this story with thoughts for the Dunfermline people.
"Please do not blame us when we turn up, we are frustrated too.
"No-one will listen to our plea.
"Even Nicola Sturgeon is sweeping this issue under the carpet."
Last week a spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service told the Press, "Ambulance response times in Fife continue to be among the fastest in Scotland and average 6.4 minutes for life-threatening calls and 7.7 minutes for all emergencies."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 22 Jun 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jun 23, 10:15
Oh stop girning and get on with the job you're paid to do. If people were dying left right and centre for want of an ambulance I'm sure we'd all have heard about it long since. There will always be times when a finite resource is stretched - same in any job. The whole problem is that people seem to think that they shouldn't have to work for the whole of their shift but should be able to sit around just in case a call comes in. Well I've news for you - most people have to work for a living and so do you.
Recommend? Yes 28 No 16
Jun 23, 18:31
Hear hear,its Erine as a paramedic myself,(in england) the scotish ambulance service would rather eat fish and chips for dinner than take the £100 offered to them to answer the call.Any ambulance staff that say i will not answer the call beacuse i want a meal break should be sacked on the spot...
Recommend? Yes 25 No 7
Jun 23, 23:18
Patients are all that matter in our health service. The striking doctors lost our respect when they used illness and suffering as bargaining chips for their financial ends. Let's hope the Scottish Ambulance Service don't make the same mistake. www.fifepatients.com
Recommend? Yes 3 No 27
Jun 24, 15:05
Have noticed that you regularly whine on other newspapers as well as the 'press, however your constant repetitive griping & moaning is rapidly becoming very tiresome and boring to say the least.
Had a look at your website yesterday; amounts to blatant propaganda and scaremongering.
Why do you ask for donations to your website? What do these donations actually fund? Alongside your Paypal link, perhaps you should explain exactly where this money is going to?
Just a thought................................................. :-)
Recommend? Yes 31 No 4
Jun 30, 11:14
#Grant Stevenson - thanks for your comments. NHS Fife has become Scotland’s worst performing health service. It has:
• The highest percentage of delayed discharges in mainland Scotland;
• The highest GP prescribing costs in Scotland;
• And the highest compensation claims in Scotland.
In fact NHS Fife’s gross incompetence over delayed discharges has led to the deaths of 93 patients. I'm sure you would agree that these facts (and they are all facts) need to be addressed? As regards to funding: all contributors are volunteers and all donations of course go to the maintenance of the website. We hope that you too will join us to improve our health service. www.fifepatients.com
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1