An Ambulatory Story

, , , , , | Healthy | March 11, 2019

(A friend of mine has had problems with a stomach ulcer for some time. Today it’s causing a lot of pain, so he goes into A&E to get it checked.)

A&E Receptionist: “Since you haven’t been to the hospital with this problem for over a year, you need a referral from your doctor in order to be seen.”

(He then leaves, but sits in the car still in the hospital car park to phone the GP.)

GP: “Well, I can refer you, but if the pain is that bad you need to phone [non-emergency urgent care line] to get an appointment straight away.”

(He phones this number and explains all of the symptoms.)

Call Handler: “With the symptoms you’ve explained, you need to be seen straight away. We’ll send an ambulance on blue lights to you now.”

Friend: “I’m in the hospital car park; I can walk to A&E from here.”

Call Handler: “No, absolutely no walking there. We’ll send you an ambulance.”

Friend: “I’m in the hospital car park! I don’t need an ambulance!”

Call Handler: “With your symptoms, you must be transported to the hospital via an ambulance. It’s not safe for you to get yourself there.”

Friend: “I can see three ambulances from here! I can go and over and sit in one if it makes you feel better!”

(They did eventually consent to allowing him to walk the 50 feet back into the hospital himself.)

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