Editor's Opinion: Will changes to ambulance service work?
AMBULANCES are there for one main purpose – to save lives and help people.
In order to carry out that purpose effectively, a number of crucial factors must be in place.
Vehicles must be fit for purpose and equipped with the latest technology in order to provide patients with the very best chance of survival or treatment on their way to hospital.
Staff must be able, trained and motivated.
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And together, staff and machine must be sited in locations that give them the easiest and fastest possible access to patients – so commonsense would say that is as near to the main urban areas as possible, with easy routes out to the countryside.
When a person is sick enough to have an ambulance called –and you can only hope that individuals are aware of when they are sick enough – then a fast, efficient and good service is rightly expected.
Ambulance staff are dealing with people who will be sick, hurt and scared – not an easy job.
Planning is therefore essential to ensure that the best possible chance is handed to those ambulance staff.
Regional ambulance bosses are currently planning to close 70 stations across their area, replacing them with hubs.
There is suspicion in some quarters as to the motives behind this move – while others believe that other options have not been considered properly.
Whatever the outcome, the proof will be in the successful deployment of any change.
One thing is for sure, the bosses making the change will soon find out if they have got it wrong – the public will not put up with long waits for ambulances.
And in cases of real emergency, a change for the worse will not be accepted by the ambulance staff who have to implement it.