Ambulance response occasions are at the moment the worst on report and the NHS is struggling to deal with a surge in demand this winter.
Sky News joined West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Danny Thompson and ambulance technician Dan Fiedler for a 12-hour shift.
7am: Elderly couple ‘too scared’ to name 999
Freezing fog hangs over Coventry as Danny and Dan make certain their radios are charged and car absolutely stocked earlier than heading out.
It is unusually quiet to start with, however simply earlier than 8am they get their first name.
The affected person is an aged man who has fallen and injured his arm. They change on the sirens and the blue lights flash as they velocity via the fog.
Arriving on the home, they discover the affected person, 86-year-old Edward, in mattress. Norma, his spouse, is sitting subsequent to him.
Edward’s arm is swollen and purple. It seems he fell two days in the past.
“It said on the television only call if it’s a matter of life and death,” Norma tells Danny.
He tells her to name right away in future. They’re nervous sufferers who need assistance have been postpone calling by the recommendation given on strike days.
“People are a bit scared to call ambulances because they think they’re going to be stuck in corridors or in the back of an ambulance,” Dan says.
As they put together to take Edward, who has superior Parkinson’s, to A&E – they chat.
Dan asks Edward how lengthy he and Norma have been married. “62 years,” he says. “How did you meet?” Dan asks. “In the pictures,” Edward replies.
“He thinks I’m superwoman,” Norma tells Danny, as she particulars how they handle with none carers.
But she’s relieved to see the paramedics.
“When I rang my heart sank because they stop halfway through and say use www… we’re not on world wide web,” she says. “I’m not moaning really, it’s just that we haven’t kept up to date with our technology”.
10am: Woman refuses to ‘freeze’ in A&E regardless of blood clot worry
“Straight in… very unusual,” Danny remarks as they wheel Edward into the A&E division in Coventry the place he’ll have an X-ray to verify if his arm is damaged.
Back outdoors within the ambulance, their radio beeps to allow them to know it has been 12 minutes since they handed Edward over.
That means they’re anticipated to be prepared for the subsequent name.
The subsequent cease is an aged affected person whose district nurse fears may have a blood clot in her leg.
When they get to her home, Rosemary is sitting upstairs.
Her daughter explains they went to A&E a few weeks in the past and spent hours ready in a freezing hall. They do not wish to return.
After performing some assessments Danny and Dan imagine it is fluid and never a blood clot inflicting the swelling.
They comply with take her to a same-day emergency care unit on the hospital in Nuneaton.
But on their method a class one name is available in. They’re the closest ambulance, in order that they apologise to Rosemary, change on blue lights and head within the route of the decision.
A few minutes later although, they’re informed to face down.
They proceed on their method with Rosemary and apologise for the diversion as they depart her on the hospital.
1pm: Seizure and gradual heartbeat handled in 5 minutes
They do not even get the possibility to complete their lunch earlier than one other class one name is available in.
The particulars point out that an aged lady is having a seizure.
Inside the home they rapidly set up there’s an issue together with her coronary heart and it is severe. She’s already misplaced consciousness as soon as.
They wheel her into the ambulance and perform ECG assessments. Her coronary heart charge is dropping, there is a danger it may cease.
Danny calls the hospital in Coventry to inform them to have a staff prepared.
Machines beep and the affected person tells them she’s scared.
Danny and Dan work rapidly to stabilise her coronary heart charge. Their reassuring tone as they inform her to not fear contrasts with the urgency of the scenario.
They get her to A&E inside 5 minutes. Her coronary heart continues to be beating, however very slowly.
They’re each simply relieved that this wasn’t one of many days they have been caught queuing outdoors hospital.
“The cardiac condition she had can often result in death if it’s not caught in time,” Danny says.
4pm: Good information but it surely was shut
After finishing all their paperwork, they lastly get a lunch break at about 4.30pm. They can take half an hour, except a class one name is available in. They head again to base the place Dan joins a small group of colleagues.
After half-hour, Danny involves get him. There’s one other name.
Sirens on, they make their method to a home close by. They cannot be certain the affected person does not have a blood clot, in order that they take her to A&E.
While there they discover out the center affected person has had emergency surgical procedure to suit a pacemaker. She’s doing effectively.
It’s excellent news to finish the day. But they comprehend it was shut.
“Things can’t go on as they are,” Danny says. “Because we’re going to see patients suffering as a result of that.”
7pm: 12-hour shift over
It’s uncommon to complete on time this winter – however on this event, they pull again into base precisely 12 hours after their shift started.
They restock the ambulance and wave to the groups taking on, earlier than heading off into the evening.