Posted by: medicblog999 | April 16, 2009

Hurrah for NHS Pathways!!

coughing-24122Its been a loooooong week. I have been at work for the last 7 days, done 82 hours so far and have attended for over 70 emergencies.

I love my job, I think that’s plain for all to see, BUT…….I’m starting to get a little bit tired and if I am going to be honest, I am probably being a teensy weensy bit less tolerant of some of our more colourful characters that grace our responses.

So, there it is, the truth. Sometimes Medic999 gets a little grump on, and he doesn’t smile every single moment when he is at work!

However, some things dont help the situation at times:

“Rapid 999, Emergency Call”

Out to the car and a quick look down at the MDT screen,

“Female, 19, Coughing”

Ehhh??? What the…..

Anyway, like a good paramedic, I head off at speed with blues and sirens ,feeling the gradual swell of frustration, tiredness and rattiness start to boil. Now don’t get me wrong, she will still get a pleasant manner from me. She will still get a full assessment, and she will never realise what is screaming through my head:


Half way to the job, I get on the radio to control and ask

“Yeah, further to this emergency I am going to, do you have any other information or is it really just for a young lass coughing?”

“Rapid999, unfortunately that’s all we have, oh hold on……..yup, hes warm to touch as well!! Its going through pathways now, so hopefully we will be able to stand you down before you get there”

The address was only less than 5 minutes away, so I am thinking that there isn’t much chance for the whole triage process to be completed before my arrival, so I start to think happy thoughts and remember that politeness costs nothing (or at least stops a complaint!!)

Then low and behold:

“Rapid999 – Stand down, call has gone through pathways and the patient is not getting an ambulance response. RTB (return to base) for a coffee”

As I said in the title:




  1. Don’t ever say that outloud ever again. In our system she gets an ALS ambulance, demands transport, infects me and my rig, then sits in the ER infecting all of them.

    Gads I wish I could be a fly on the wall in your car.

  2. One problem though…

    I thought Paramedics were fuelled by tea, not coffee

  3. We are supposed to transport whoever calls for whatever reason. Unless we’ve had seventy calls in seventy hours, then it’s anybody’s guess who will show up at the coughing girls house, Dr. Jeckle or Mr. Hyde.

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