Thursday, 26 February 2009

Applying Sticking Plaster To A Gaping Wound…

It appears that there are 7500 addresses in the UK where ambulance staff are told to proceed with caution:
Figures under Freedom of Information legislation uncovered almost 7,500 addresses where ambulance staff required a police escort or are advised to exercise caution because of the potential of violence.
Now, I’m not in favour of anyone being allowed to attack ambulance staff with impunity (or police, or firemen, or gas meter readers…), but what risk do households like this pose to the rest of us?
Risks include people with a history of violence and aggression towards ambulance staff, addresses with dangerous animals or weapons and patients with psychiatric or alcohol-related conditions and mental health disorders.
Who ‘red flags’ them for the unsuspecting public, or their neighbours?

Not to mention unsuspecting delivery men, window cleaners, milkmen, etc…
The Liberal Democrats say some parts of the country have hundreds of addresses that have been flagged - in the North West alone, more than 3,000 addresses are seen as at risk.
No, not ‘at risk’. They are the risk – to others.
Health spokesman Norman Lamb said: "It is unacceptable that such a large number of people are posing a threat to the safety of ambulance crews.

"NHS staff responding to emergencies and trying to save people's lives should be allowed to do their jobs without fear of violence or abuse. Tough action must taken when their safety is threatened.

"Protective body armour should be made available to all frontline ambulance staff, just as it is to the police."
Here’s a thought, Norman, and perhaps it might help more than just calling for body armour for some of the public sector workers who have to deal with these people – don’t leave them free to pose a danger to anyone!

Dangerous dogs and weapons? Remove/destroy them.

Psychiatric conditions? Secure mental treatment facilities.

A history of violence and aggression? Ensure they are jailed or sectioned until they are no longer a threat.

That way, we’ll all be safe.

And if I was a paramedic, I think I’d think twice about paying my union dues to Unison, if this is the best they can come up with:
Ambulance workers union, Unison, says the problem is creating moral dilemmas where staff consider their own safety against the wellbeing of a patient.
Well, fancy..! How terribly unsympathetic of them…!

What exactly do you want them to do – charge in to Stabby McStabberson’s domicile regardless, just to ensure that the ambulance service is considered ‘morally sound’?
Karen Jennings, Unison's head of health, said: "I think there are serious questions to ask about whether ambulance crews should sit outside if somebody inside is having a heart attack."
Why? We are constantly told, by the H&S mavens, that we shouldn’t put ourselves at risk at work – why is this any different for ambulance staff? They aren’t, after all, paid for a dangerous role the way the police and fire crews are.

And they already put up with a hell of a lot of abuse from the mad, the thoughtless and the criminal element of the public, as any glance at their blogs will tell you.
"Having said that, if that household has a history of attacking people when they go in, then it doesn't do anybody any good if they were just to rush in and put themselves at risk."

But we might well ask, why is it not considered better to remove the causes of the problem, rather than try to find new ways to work around it?


Anonymous said...

The solution to such problems is simple as you have pointed out in your post.
The reality is that the police are paralysed by Home Office targets which affect any kind of local strategies being put in place within local boroughs of our 43 police forces (England and Wales).
Then add Health & Safety and the need for Risk Assessments for almost every activity, RIPA and a host of other mainly bureacratic processes which makes any kind of on the spot response impossible. For every dangerous dog there is a 'dog psychiatrist' (e.g. Roger Mumford)and a lawyer ready to spin the process out.
We already see the seeming impossiblility for the police to have any effect with local problems as magistrates aren't allowed to gaol them on remand, let alone on conviction because there has been no prison building programme over Labour's 11 years and there's no room.
I could go on but I find the whole situation so depressing I'm unable to comment much anymore. It is wearing me down.

Anonymous said...

Do be careful, A-P. Such good sense as this may very well bring you into conflict with 'those who know best'!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, best educated, least criminal time in history...blah...armoured jackets for paramedics...blah.

Something jarred in that New Labour litany of hope and change there.

JuliaM said...

"I find the whole situation so depressing I'm unable to comment much anymore. It is wearing me down."

It does seem as if each day there's some new horror, doesn't it? But unless people keep bringing it others' attention, the state will feel free to slip whatever they want to hide right past us...

"Such good sense as this may very well bring you into conflict with 'those who know best'!!!"

At this rate, their list of 'enemies of the state' is going to be so big, they'll need another humungous IT contract to manage it!

"Hmm, best educated, least criminal time in history..."

Yeah, doesn't fit, does it?

Old Holborn said...

Kill them. Kill them with fire

Burn their houses and salt the earth


Anonymous said...

He's right you know, it is terrible but he is..........

JuliaM said...

Having just read the news about Kevin Tripp's killers and their criminal background, I'm inclined to agree...

Anonymous said...

They're 'previous' will have run to several pages, not onc will they have served a proper punishment for their crimes. If they had maybe Mr Tripp would still be alive. not punched to death doing his shopping. They are utter scum and should have been dealt with properly years ago. The criminal justice system in the UK is a disgrace. Run by lawyers for lawyers.