Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, spent the day as an observer with the East Midlands Ambulance Service to see first-hand how the crew responds to 999 emergencies and learn more about the service they provide and challenges they face on a daily basis.
Speaking after his shift, Toby said “The dedication and expertise of the paramedics and technicians is exceptional and they approach their role with empathy, dedication and a good sense of humour. I was struck by the variety of calls that they have to respond to on a shift. They really don’t know what they will have to respond to next, from something relatively minor to serious traffic accidents or suspected heart attacks. The crews have to be ready for anything.”
Toby added, “There are pressures on our ambulance service that have caused unacceptable delays for several of my constituents who have called 999 in an emergency. These pressures are being exacerbated by patient holdover times at A&E departments, difficulties securing GP appointments, cuts to health & social care and other factors. I have discussed these issues with senior managers at EMAS but it was interesting to see how this is impacting on ambulance crews.
“One of the biggest frustrations for paramedics is when they are called out to non-emergency situations that did not require an ambulance, which could be preventing them from attending serious incidents. It is important for people to remember that the ambulance is an emergency service and should only be called for life-threatening conditions or serious injuries.”