Over the last few weeks we’ve read of an MP calling 999 because of a faulty boiler, an actress asking for permission to drive down the hard shoulder of a blocked motorway, and other shocking stories of the general public misusing our emergency services. We’ve even had Health Authorities paying a small fortune in advertising revenue in an attempt to educate Christmas revellers in appropriate service use.
To top all that it now seems that even in the event of a genuine emergency some staff may still consider the call a waste of their time and skills.
Barry Baker, a middle aged disabled man, dialled 999 suffering from severe chest pains and an ambulance was dispatched. As is usual in these cases the calls are recorded and dispatcher stayed on the phone talking to the patient who lived alone.
When the ambulance crew arrived just as Barry’s heart stopped, they discussed the run down state of his home and decided that he wasn’t worth trying to resuscitate. Not noticing that the dispatcher was still on the phone, they agreed to report that the patient was already dead when they arrived and there was nothing that could be done for him.
The two have been arrested by police, but not charged yet.