It must seem that most of my posts are rants about one thing or another, but there are some things that really ‘get my goat’!
One of these things occurred yesterday. 999 call to a Care Home where a 93 year old lady had slipped and fallen in her room. She wasn’t injured in any way, but because the Home had a ‘no lift policy’, they rang 999.
As I’ve mentioned before, we have to prioritise all of the 999 calls we receive (around 1200 in 24 hours) to make sure we respond to the most serious calls first. Now a person who has fallen, is uninjured but simply unable to get up is a low priority call, and due to how busy we were yesterday with heart attacks, car crashes and unwell children it took about 3 hours to get an ambulance to them.
When we got there, the patient was made comfortable with a pillow and covered with a blanket to keep her warm. She’d had a cup of tea and a biscuit and was in good spirits – she was also very happy to see us.
So, what did my crew mate and I do? We picked her up off the floor. Why couldn’t the 4 carers that were there do this? “We’ve got a no lift policy”. Well, so have we! it’s not in our interest to go around picking people up from the floor all day – our backs would be knackered in a month!
It winds me up that a ‘Care’ Home is happy to leave an otherwise well 93 year old on the floor because they don’t want to lift them up (I should add she weighed about 8 stone).
When this happens – and it happens all to often for my liking – some carers have the audacity to chastise us for taking so long to get there!! I swiftly remind them that they’ve been happy to leave an elderly person on the floor for hours.
No care home I’ve ever been to has ever been able to produce this ‘no lift policy’ when I’ve asked to see it. I suspect it’s a historical laziness…Oh those good ol’ guys in green will come and do the hard work!
-I’m also aware that we only ever see the numerator. There are probably a great many instances where carers do pick up people from the floor to save the 999 call.
Just another little gripe from an otherwise great job!