Ambulance – 14 October 2021 – BBC One

Series 8 Episode 3 of 6It is the anniversary of the government’s announcement of a national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and Lancashire paramedic Chris reflects on whether northerners have dealt with difficult times in different ways in the past year. As the team in control settle in for the next 12 hours, Chris and Lee are immediately dispatched to a patient who has fallen from a horse in a remote rural location. With limited helicopter resources available across the region and another 999 call in progress for a patient who is trapped underneath a mobile home, they realise support for their patient is looking unlikely. But despite suffering a nasty injury, the patient is unfazed and seems more concerned about how his horse might be feeling after the accident.

Later, Chris and Lee are dispatched to a patient who is feeling suicidal. The patient needs to be assessed by a mental health specialist, and the crew must wait with her until it can be determined whether she can safely be left at home. Meanwhile, Paul and Isaac are dispatched to a 100-year-old patient who has fallen down the stairs in Blackpool. When they arrive on the scene, they are bowled over by the patient’s remarkable zest for life, and it becomes clear that she really doesn’t want them to leave.

The start of the night shift, Chris and Lee have to make the 20-minute journey to Burnley as they are the closest crew available to transfer a patient to a specialist unit. Earlier that day, he had taken an overdose. It is a subject close to home for Chris, who is still grieving for a friend who did the same thing and lost his life.

It is a busy night shift for the North West Ambulance Service, but in Scotland the situation is more acute. The ambulance service there has declared that is has lost power in its control room and can no longer answer any of their emergency calls. North West are drafted in to help answer the 999 calls and then pass these jobs back to the Scottish staff over the telephone. It’s proves to be a tense time for the team in control as they struggle to manage their own workload as well as Scotland’s.

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An unprecedented insight into the ambulance service, from the highly-pressurised control room to the crews on the streets. This is an honest 360-degree snapshot of the ambulance service’s daily dilemmas and pressures.

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