Ambulance – 4 November 2021 – BBC One
Series 8 Episode 6 of 6 – As crews book on across Lancashire and Cumbria for the sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, an urgent call from the police for backup to help a patient who is walking into the sea on Blackpool beach takes priority. Crewmates Holly and Craig are immediately dispatched, but when they arrive on the scene, he has disappeared. As they begin their search, a fresh 999 call is answered for a patient who has been assaulted by their partner. It doesn’t take long for the team in control to piece together that the call is related to the patient, who has now been found on Blackpool beach.
Meanwhile, a new 999 call is received from a carer who has found a resident on the floor, having been there all night. Crewmates Hannah and Richard are immediately dispatched, and on arrival they are saddened to discover the reasons why the patient didn’t call for help.
Three hours into the shift and already 172 patients are currently being treated across the North West. There are a further 28 patients waiting for an ambulance to arrive but a call for an elderly patient who frequently dials 999 which takes priority, there are fears that this time it isn’t a false alarm and the patient has actually taken an overdose. Crewmates, Holly and Craig arrive on scene to find that the patient does need to be taken to hospital for further assessment. However, when they arrive at the hospital, besides being offered treatment the patient is also served with an ASBO to try to stop her misusing NHS & council services by frequent calling.
As midday approaches, the streets of Blackpool are coming alive with tourists – a sight which hasn’t been seen for over a year. But it isn’t just in the towns that people are going out, a new
999 call for a patient who has come off their bike in the middle of the Cumbrian woodland takes priority. With fears that the patient has suffered multiple injuries, Consultant Paramedic, Vinny is sent to manage the patient care on scene. He faces over an hour long journey to the patient which will see him snake through the Cumbrian fells with a trip on the Lake Windermere ferry in order to reach him. When he arrives it is quickly determined that his condition is serious enough that he will needs the assistance of the mountain rescue team and the air ambulance. Whilst Vinny waits for additional support, in Kendal ambulance crew Matt & Wendy are sent to the aid of another cyclist who has also fallen from their bike.
As the weekend begins to wind to an end, a new shift begins for Holly and Craig, who are dispatched to a familiar patient. It is a woman who frequently rings 999 and who has again claimed to have taken an overdose. It quickly becomes apparent why she has become one the most frequent callers across the whole of the region and just how difficult it is to help her.
Meanwhile, Hannah and Richard are sent to a patient who has been suffering from seizures. When they decide to take the patient to hospital, they must find someone to look after the patient’s dog, Teddy. En route to hospital, the patient reveals that she has been struggling to come to terms with the many losses in her life, and it provides a moment of reflection for Hannah, who has also recently suffered the loss of someone close.
Life slowly comes back to normal for the staff of North West Ambulance Service as the country celebrates the Easter bank holiday weekend. It demonstrates that behind the immediate challenges of the pandemic, the ambulance service still has to deal with many intractable issues: domestic violence, an ageing population, loneliness and mental health. But all of these issues jostle for priority as more straightforward emergencies start coming in.
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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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