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Five patients made 8,303 emergency calls in a year - BBC News Website

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by TiredSam, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-43293581

    Now that we have been categorised as MUS and demonised for overusing doctors (even though many of us avoid any engagement with the health service at all), is this little "Blimey that's outrageous" story a prelude to the demonisation of all the "MUS patients" who overuse the ambulance service?

    Well that's four of them - he forgot to tell us what the fifth person was phoning for. At least it gives us a clue as to who's up for demonisation next.
     
  2. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Who knows really why they are calling so much but if they need better services it may actually be cheaper to provide them.
    Of course if we can look down on them or use at as an excuse to cut everyone's services thats even better :emoji_face_palm:
     
  3. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Its not cake and ice cream :(
     
  5. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's pretty much every single day for each of the five people that emergency vehicles and personnel were allegedly deployed.
    I find this very difficult to believe. And if it were true, it would speak loudest of how the health care system is failing them, as Alvin pointed out.

    This sounds like hogwash and propaganda to me.
     
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  6. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Some cities in the United States have similar problems with "frequent fliers". It's a complicated issue that isn't likely to be solved anytime soon.
    As a result, first responders can be stretched thin, interfering with their ability to respond to actual life threatening emergencies on time.
     
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Not a moderator

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    Seattle had a good solution to a similar problem which saved a lot of money and even reduced alcohol usage for homeless people with severe alcoholism who were heavy users of emergency and police services. Basically they built an apartment building for them, allow them to drink without restrictions, and keep a trained EMT or similar on duty most of the time.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/05/us/05homeless.html
    https://www.npr.org/sections/health...hat-allows-drinking-helps-homeless-drink-less

    Expenses per participant have dropped from US$50,000 per year to $13,000 per year.
     
  8. Indigophoton

    Indigophoton Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is a bit radical - instead of blaming homeless people who drink, and making support conditional on stopping, they're tackling the homelessness head-on. Once housed, it appears that some of the people concerned cut down their drinking by themselves. And if they don't, they are still better off with a roof over their heads, and it costs less.

    We could really do with some common sense around basic needs like food and shelter elsewhere in social care and healthcare.
     
  9. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator

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    Some times it takes someone to properly think through a problem to get a good solution rather than the knee jerk reactions that we get from doctors in the UK.

    I remember then the fire service were trying to reduce calls the started removing all the abandoned cars because many of the calls they had were to deal with car fires (and it worked).

    If doctors dealt with the real problems then this would help. I've often wondered what the average number of visits to a GP it takes to get a diagnosis (I suspect it is quite a lot).
     
  10. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    These so-called "wet houses" are working for some communities, but they are often a tough sell politically. No one wants a wet house in their neighborhood. Plus in expensive cities, the idea that chronic alcoholics should be given free housing where the working class can't afford to live can be unpopular.

    Public radio covered the complex topic recently in San Francisco. San Francisco has been studying Seattle and other wet houses for years, but has not set one up yet.

    http://kalw.org/post/harm-reduction-homeless-alcoholics-might-be-safe-place-have-drink
     
  11. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

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    I expect that these frequent callers are people who are frightened by their symptoms - be they physical or mental. It just speaks volumes about how large health systems work that sufficient funding can’t be allocated to a specific purpose like this - to support a small number of highly distressed individuals.
     
  12. Webdog

    Webdog Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    At the risk of sounding cold and heartless, some "frequent flyers" are drug addicts or alcoholics who go on a binge, then take an ambulance to "dry out" in the hospital.

    When they're recovered and sober, they leave the hospital to binge again and repeat the process.

    How to break this tragic cycle is a good question. Wet houses are one potential solution.
     
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  13. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had to keep working until I literally couldn't prop myself up in my chair. There was then and still is now no offer of free housing and time off. After I got sick I had to move over a dozen times (lost count). No free nothing. That probably foreclosed the possibility of ever recovering from this disease. Had I been deemed a danger to the public or alcho-drug-a-holic there were special programs that provide housing (free), including free food, and (so I'm told by those in the program) free sex with the staff and a good supply of drugs, but you have to pay for the latter.

    Sure, I'll support all that free stuff, but on the condition that I get free housing in a no-drugs, no-drunks, no-noise etc etc building, also new and built for "my special needs", plus recompense for getting nothing when I needed it. Of course, this may seem an excess demand to some, so I propose it be paid for only by those who voted to build the new, free, up-to-code building for the druggie crowd. They can afford it, obviously, so it's time to share.

    I paid taxes for decades, got nothing back, but lifetime druggies are to get the red carpet. Having paid in about 1000000000x more, I modestly request I get a like ration back in return, with interest, because I heard "they owe us that" at a protest somewhere. I rate the likelihood of any of that happening as a bit less than a 100 ton asteroid strike within the next week.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  14. Samuel

    Samuel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  15. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Perhaps some were calling multiple times per day. I certainly would if I had chronic pain and was not getting a response.
     
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  16. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes but deploying a vehicle and personnel 300 days a year is a response, if we're to believe that. The article said the "top five" callers called about 5 times a day each, and had a team come almost every day. This just seems implausible to me, call me cynical.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  17. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's a really good idea, similar to needle exchanges. It seems to be based on the fact that homeless people are human. Such a shame it has to be considered radical.
     
  18. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was assuming that the ambulance was not being deployed because they were known frequent callers. Now I see that the article says:
    That does support your claim that this is implausible. (And show how bad my memory is.)
     
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  19. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I had the same thought, you would think they would figure out in short order that the same person keeps calling and needing services but i suspect this is about using these people as scapegoats to justify public service cuts.
     
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  20. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I feel like there is a nasty campaign of scapegoating and outright making up "needy" people to justify as you say service cuts. The whole trend right now is about pretending another's misfortune is simply evidence of their inadequacy as a person, and that success, health etc is the natural outcome of being somehow superior and separate from the hoi polloi.
     

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