Medicine And The Media

“London calling”

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 26 November 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1447
  1. Fiona Barratt

    BBC2 First Sight: “From Emergency to Crisis” 17 November

    With the House of Commons inquiry into the London Ambulance Service underway, this programme was a topical look at the state of the service, with thoughts and concerns from many of those who work with and within it. The service receives over 2000 calls each day, a number that is steadily rising, and it has difficulty coping. Some people say it is on the brink of collapse. Resources are not rising to keep up with the demands, and public expectations are now higher than ever, particularly with the publication of the patient's charter, which states that half of ambulances should arrive within eight minutes of an emergency call and that almost all calls should be answered within 15 minutes. The programme showed a good example of just how easily this could be broken. The ambulance in this case was not dispatched for eight minutes after control first received the call and arrived at the correct destination three quarters …

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