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Should the 999 service respond to drunks

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Guinevere Report 5 Jan 2013 07:08

In these parts if you dial 999 you get a paramedic who decides if you need an ambulance and stays with you until one arrives.

That has cut down on a lot of timewasting calls. If it isn't a real emergency they offer advice and tell people to get a taxi or a lift to A&E.

Obviously if a doctor calls then an ambulance is sent.

I do take your point about lack of emergency ambulance, Sue, but I would be just as angry if one didn't turn up because it was picking up someone who fell off a mountain or someone who broke something playing sport as I would if one was delayed by picking up drunks.

I'd also be furious with the people on the end of the phone who make the decisions.


supercrutch Report 5 Jan 2013 02:54

Hope you never need an ambulance to save a loved one and because it can't be allocated in time someone you love doesn't even know that they have had a baby because the brain has been damaged by the time they receive emergency treatment.


eRRolSheep Report 5 Jan 2013 01:01

Sorry Kay did not realise you worked in A & E. However I stand by what I said - we cannot be a nation of unqualified triage nurses and the litigation implications are unfathomable and somewhat scary in that a person in the street would have to decide whether a person needed genuine medical care or merely a dose of sobering up


Kay???? Report 5 Jan 2013 00:07

Errol freedom of choice that maybe,,,,,,,but when its a self inflicted choice where one can control the limits then any sub-concequences from over stepping that choice to keep you or make you safe then relies on a force,,be it law or medical if it results in that .......I've seen enough OTT drunks brought in to A&E.then I'd not have a problem of a charge being made,,,,,,,

some poor sod having a heart attack hasnt got that choice,,,,,and has to wait till the ambulance has dropped of another rat assed drunk.

I dont think anyone is trying to be a triage med,


eRRolSheep Report 4 Jan 2013 23:30

My point being Kay that it is usually an accident that has occurred through freedom of choice - something we are lucky to have in my country - so where do we draw the line? Once we start trying to all be triage nurses and decide whether a person merits an ambulance or the "drunk squad" we leave ourselves open to litigation - more cost!


supercrutch Report 4 Jan 2013 19:44

He should be, he woke me up on my mobile :-|


AnnCardiff Report 4 Jan 2013 18:40

ah - you're awake then Sue - Mr Daff is trembling with fright!!!!


supercrutch Report 4 Jan 2013 18:12

You cannot compare a DIY accident with someone who deliberately goes out with the sole intent of drinking themselves insensible!

Medical attention being diverted to these selfish individuals will, if it hasn't already, cost lives.

You try hearing that your SIL would be widowed, your 5 week old grandson will have no mother, we would have lost a daughter and our two children would lose a sister IF our SIL hadn't fought for a paramedic instead of waiting for an ambulance to be free.


AnnCardiff Report 4 Jan 2013 18:01

and many who ride around at night with no lights and wearing dark clothing!!!


Kay???? Report 4 Jan 2013 17:22

Trouble is though,,,,,,,its not the drunk who call for a med team or the police,,,,,,its someone else,,,,,,,,,an injury from DIY or other isnt usually because of being drunk out your skull,,,,,,,,,,but a cyclist,,,,,,,,well theres many doing a wobble after coming out the pub, :-D :-D


eRRolSheep Report 4 Jan 2013 15:30

Gwynne - I agree totally. Many A & E cases involve people who have had an accident due to their own actions. Should a person be charged because they "chose" to do DIY and injured themselves? Should a cyclist be penalised because they fell off their bike having made the free decision to go out cycling? Should a rambler have to pay for treatment because they stumbled whilst pursuing their preferred pastime?

We have a free health service and should be proud of it. If someone drinks too much and has an accident due to being inebriated then maybe there is an underlying problem in the first place, be it psychological or purely poor education.

Merlin - that is already the case. A personal licence holder can be heavily fined for supplying alcohol to an individual who is drunk.


AnnCardiff Report 4 Jan 2013 14:56

we have one of those in Cardiff Ann, high days and holidays - takes a lot of pressure off A & E


AnninGlos Report 4 Jan 2013 14:49

I think I am right in saying that in Gloucester on high days and holidays there is a special team employed in the city centre. They did once have some sort of shelter erected I think. People who were thought to be drunk and in need of assistance were seen first by these professionals and assessed as to whether they needed hospital treatment or just temporary care and advised on getting home etc. that was at least some ambulances were saved from being tied up.


AnnCardiff Report 4 Jan 2013 14:05

sounds good to me Merlin


Merlin Report 4 Jan 2013 13:59

How about making the Publicans/Club owners pay up and be fined for selling booze to people who are already drunk and get a system like the Americans, All night courts,might make a few people realise its going to cost more in fines etc than get stoned.**M**.


Guinevere Report 4 Jan 2013 07:34

I'd say that a lot of people who end up in A&E do so through their own actions.

People who play sport and get injured; people not watching where they are going who fall over; people doing DIY and injure themselves; carelessness while preparing food etc etc.

Where do you draw the line?



maggiewinchester Report 4 Jan 2013 01:24

Like George, I have been extremelly piddled in my youth, but never to the extent of needing the emergency services.
I drink so much - then peacefully fall asleep, then 'come to' after 10 minutes - when I would go home - hardly A & E fodder.

If you can't take the heat - stay out of the kitchen, likewise, know your drink limit.

If you MUST drink to oblivion, there should be a limit - how about charging those who REGULARLY require the A & E - and of course, those who are abusive/offensive to staff should be fined in some way,


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 .


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


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!!!!