Just back from a dog walk in Ayr where I met a retired policeman in his late 70s to hear that he’d had a heart attack three weeks earlier. A serious kind of guy with no time for independence or for the SNP, I’d often teased him that he had no heart.
I got the full story. After an hour and a half thinking it might be indigestion, he dialled 999. Ten minutes later the ambulance is at his door. The paramedics then spend twenty minutes doing checks and call the hospital to alert them before taking him at speed up the road while carrying out pre-op procedures. Twenty minutes later a stent has been fitted and he’s stitched-up but not in the same way as BBC Scotland are trying to stitch-up Jeanne Freeman.
I ask him if his experience has changed his views of the government of the day who surely get at least some credit just as they’d get the blame for supposed failures? He laughs but doesn’t say no.
I then ask if he knows that the Scottish Ambulance service changed its call-out system last year, to prioritise urgent cases like his. He didn’t though he watches Reporting Scotland three times a day, every day. He did say that he thought that things would be worse than they turned out for him. Maybe he saw these:
I doubt he heard this because no one reported it:
A new system of prioritising the sickest patients, even though that may lengthen waits for less urgent cases, has massively improved survival rates for cardiac arrest patients.
According to a spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service in August 2018:
‘We have changed the way we respond to calls and are now deliberately prioritising the sickest, most seriously ill patients in Scotland. As a result, we have almost doubled survival rates for cardiac arrest patients since 2013. For less urgent cases, our call handlers now spend more time understanding patient’s clinical needs to ensure we send the right, not necessarily the nearest resource. The result has been slightly longer response times for patients whose lives are not immediately at risk – but consequently, last year we saved the lives of an additional 62 patients who had suffered an out of hospital cardiac arrest.’