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Should the 999 service respond to drunks

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 3 Jan 2013 19:42

or should there be a separate wing to the police force and/or ambulance service that can be called upon to attend and CHARGE for the service for transport to A & E and subsequent treatment?

The policewoman who phoned me back re the attempted break-in, apologised for not being able to give me an idea of when officers would come to take a statement ( and forensic) as all police were "busy processing all the arrested drunks" from New Years eve...I would assume most of those were taken in for acts of aggression in some form... and there must have been even more transported by ambulance to hospital, having become 'ill' entirely through their own stupidity.

What are your feelings on this? especially if you live in an area where binge drinkers cause regular problems ( ie not just at New Year).


Neubie Report 3 Jan 2013 19:44

Would you also apply this to the drug users?

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 3 Jan 2013 19:52

Neubie I wasn't particularly applying that to alchoholics, or drug users, rather to the binge drinkers or one-time New Year drunks who aren't medically 'addicted' to the substance but actively 'choose' not to stop on that particular day?

Not saying that there is an easy answer...just up for consideration :-)


Neubie Report 3 Jan 2013 19:58

Problem is Rose, alcohol is not a banned substance , the government actually gain revenue from it.
So , when a tax payer decides to get completely ****** they do have the right to all the other tax paid amenities provided .. IE ambulances , police and NH care..
I like this thread


**Ann** Report 3 Jan 2013 19:58

If you found someone face down in the street how would you know whether they were drunk or which department would you call.

Rose....we had a very sad case in my town a few winters ago.....a 17 year old was wandering around drunk in the wee shoes on his feet and the temp was -10 that night. He was sent on his way by the police even though he lived 1.5 miles away.

They found him dead next morning...he had climbed into a container presumably to get out of the cold. My dad who is a retired police officer was horrified that they did not take care of the young person in the appropriate manner.


supercrutch Report 3 Jan 2013 19:59

Yes I would opt for another 'service'

999 call to Cardiff operators for an ambulance on a Friday night. None available. Why? Reply from the call centre "they are all out in the city centre attending to drunks".

That almost cost my daughter her life.

Why do we allow binge drinkers to tie up urgently needed resources without some sort of cost to them.

I am hateful about this obviously. When I watch TV programmes filmed in city centres full of police and ambulances attending youngsters laying in the gutters, puking or verbally abusing professionals who are trying to help them I just wonder why bother?


AnnCardiff Report 3 Jan 2013 20:01

any services drunks need they should have to pay for - drunkenness causes this country millions every year, yet nothing is done to stop the advertising, happy hours, special offers in supermarkets - apply the same regulations to alcohol as to tobacco and you might see an improvement

smokers don't descend on A & E and assault staff and cause mayhem after smoking a cigarette - they don't jump into their cars after having a fag and mow people down, they don't cause domestic violence after having a drag

drunks do all of the above and worse but the government has double standards on this one, more's the pity

local council officers don't drive round in unmarked cars following drinkers to see if they discard drink cans and then fine them £75 - but they do with smokers - check the size of a cigarette end with an empty can - having said that, both are unacceptable as litter per se is unacceptable


Neubie Report 3 Jan 2013 20:06

people with Diabetes can appear drunk .. people with many medical conditions can appear to be drunk..
How can an operator differentiate when a call comes in?

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 3 Jan 2013 20:15

I don't think there was a suggestion anyone would be 'just left', it might actually expedite treatment if the medics/ police 'specials' for want of a better word, were on hand solely for that purpose in city centres rather than ambulances having to divert services? That would cost more yes, but is there not a way that could be recouped from people who were subsequently charged? or found not to be in need of any actual medical treatment other than sleeping it off?

At the moment would someone really needing medical treatment get it if they were lying still, or would they be effectively 'ignored' because others who weren't 'ill' per se but were 'louder' got the attention? possibly someone falling down and lying quiet with a stroke might be less noticeable than a drunk vomiting and therefore be left? I don't know just a thought?


Neubie Report 3 Jan 2013 20:21

Can't the police charge them for being drunk and dissorderly?


George Report 3 Jan 2013 20:26

I am a drinker and have been absolutely piddled many times, but not to the extent we see some get.
I think if you get attended to by an ambulance because your out of it with drink, or drugs then you should have to pay up. and pay up big time.
It is a self inflicted problem

It is a problem I know but I do believe everyone who need the services of an ambulance should get one, but is drunk or doped up they should pay.



MrDaff Report 3 Jan 2013 20:32

Neubie, you can't be charged for being drunk per se, unless as you intimated you were also 'criminally disorderly'.

Identifiying between a drunk collapsing in the street, and someone being ill and doing the same is really not easy for bystanders to identify, unless of course they have been on the binge with the drunk themselves, or have some training.

Pulse, breathing, smell, colour, response etc can all give an indication of which category you are looking at.

For the former, I'd call the Sanitation Engineers, for the latter 999.

But that's just me ... :-D


Janet Report 3 Jan 2013 20:34

Neubie makes a valid point regarding diagnosing a condition whether it is due to diabetes,stroke or others. The NHS has always charged for RTA s which is paid for by the insurance company and doesn't affect a no claims bonus. The charge is for emergency treatment.
If a drunken person is taken to casualty they too should have a fixed charge for emergency treatment. If the diagnosis turns out to be a stroke or other condition then like all other treatment on the NHS it should be free. -jl


supercrutch Report 3 Jan 2013 20:55

Thank you George :-D

OK so if you think it's not morally feasible then charges MUST be applied and collected in order to fund more vehicles and personnel.

If you go and get hammered to the point where you cannot function and get carted off to hospital as a safeguard then bloody cough up £250.00 for the pleasure.

They'll quite happily spends hundreds over a weekend and then abuse the emergency services' free support without a second thought. Time to make them think and pay.

Before anyone suggests it most smokers would probably pay for their ambulance if asked to. Well I would anyway.


Kay???? Report 3 Jan 2013 22:28

Once at A&E it would soon be known if its just a case of a drunk or more serious cause, then levy a charge if needed.


KempinaPartyhat Report 3 Jan 2013 22:57

OMG ....just fine them!!!

The problem is the 999 ambulance go and get them and take them to hospital and then wash down their ambulance coz the "dear" person had thrown up all over it ,this takes that ambulance out of service and wastes the tax payers money while they wash down the vomit!

So while you are dialing 999 for a "REAL" emergency they continue to clean up the mess of someone whom cant be a***d to take care to get a partner friend to look after them after they get drunk ......

Oh then the nurses are exspected to look after the drunks personal belongings phone while they recover ....good god bring back the nurse maid!

The alternative is the Police get them take them to a holding pen!!! with medicail care supplied in case a mistake is made and charge them IF they are drunk which will be known in 12 hours!!!
This method is now done for brits in Prague and other countries our lads chose to go for stage nites!


supercrutch Report 3 Jan 2013 23:04

Don't hold back Kemp! :-D :-D


KempinaPartyhat Report 3 Jan 2013 23:06

Be warned: Polish beer and vodka are rocket fuel, and have been the ruin of more than a few good men. If you plan on making a prat of yourself make sure it is not in front of a policeman. A trip to Warsaw’s premier drunk tank will set you back 250zl and you will be detained for approximately 12 hours while you sober up. Credit cards not accepted. In return for your cash expect a set of blue pyjamas, a full strip search, coffee mugs that stink of urine and the company of mad vagrants. As tempting as it may seem, do not resist arrest. Those doing so will find themselves strapped to a bed in the style of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, sedated and in some cases beaten with truncheons. Accept you have been a naughty person and behave.

Our dear PM says they are dangerous!!!!


KempinaPartyhat Report 3 Jan 2013 23:09

Supercrutch ... :-D :-D I wont ...

I will pay my taxes for ANYONE IN NEED of medicial help even drunks but why should I pay for them to get a free taxi free bed and free sick clean up service when the paramedics, police and nurses could be doing their jobs for someone who WILL say Thank you


Jean Report 4 Jan 2013 01:19

janet i agree 100% drunks should be charged. i think soon, people will be sent a charge to pay if they have used the n.h.s. when they are classed as not an emergency patient. needs to be sorted .