Scotland Times

Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

I worry about people waiting hours for ambulances

I worry about people waiting hours for ambulances

Blair Paul qualified as a paramedic in the first six months of the Covid pandemic which means he has seen things that he would not have ordinarily seen.

The 28-year-old says the workload is relentless and the "new normal" means he is seeing younger, sicker patients and people who should be in GP surgeries rather than ambulances.

Despite being in high demand, Blair's job also involves a surprising amount of waiting.

He sometimes spends hours of his day parked outside hospital emergency departments waiting for space to become free so he can hand over his patient.

"Regardless of how difficult the job is, I like coming to my work," he says as he sits in the back of his empty ambulance outside Edinburgh Royal Infirmary's A&E.

It is a momentary place of sanctuary amid the bustle you would expect at the doors of one of Scotland's busiest emergency departments.

"I just worry about the people who are waiting hours and hours for ambulances," he says.

"It could be nine, 10 hours before they get an ambulance and actually these are the sickest people because, when you get there, what was a low-acuity call is now actually quite serious.

"These are the people that ultimately end up in resuscitation because they're the most sick because of waiting so long for an ambulance."

Blair says he worries about the fallout from people not having proper access to medical assistance for two years because of the Covid pandemic.

"I've been to a few people lately who have been diagnosed with stage four cancer and they are younger, in their 40s and 50s," he says.

"I have been to a female who had tumours in her chest that she brushed off and as soon as I saw her, I knew she was not in a good way."

Blair with his step-daughters, partner Kayleigh and baby Erin


Six months ago Blair's partner Kayleigh, an A&E nurse, gave birth to their baby Erin.

She was born with heart complications and spent three months in paediatric intensive care.

"My daughter is amazing but we've had some challenges and we didn't know in the first two days if she'd actually survive," Blair says.

"They continue to treat her for pretty horrible things that she has going on, but we're getting somewhere. We're okay and she's home and she's doing good."

Blair says he strives to be a role model for Erin and his step-daughters and thinks that spending so much time in hospital with his daughter means he's "a better paramedic for it".

But it doesn't make his job any easier.

"I think dealing with people's families is the hardest thing, to be honest," he says.

"Some situations are heart-breaking because sometimes we know that it's kind of futile and they're not going to survive.

"I've always found it difficult to deal with sick children but I think even now, being a dad whose had a kid in intensive care, it still terrifies me. It's horrible."

Blair remains upbeat as he talks about his job despite the strains, both at home and at work, in the last two years and says that is because it can be so rewarding.

He says: "I do love my job.

"We get some good times and unfortunately some bad things with some patients. But if I can walk away at the end of my shift and feel like I know someone's life is better because I've intervened, then I go home happy.

"I recently attended a job with a woman who had a heart attack and I didn't think she would survive, but last week she was in the station bringing me some biscuits and it was really nice to know she is going about her daily life because I intervened and helped her in that situation."

The Scottish Ambulance Service recruited a record number of frontline A&E staff last year in a bid to cope with the pressures of the pandemic.

It came after the Scottish government gave the service £20m in extra funding.


Dealing with sick children "terrifies" paramedic Blair Paul


Newsletter

Related Articles

Scotland Times
0:00
0:00
Close
UK Island Orkney council to look at proposals to become territory of Norway
Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
A Real woman
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Democracy? Not for UK. UK PM rejects Scottish independence referendum, cancel democracy in BVI
UK urged to brace for economic storm
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Prince William To Move Family Into Cottage Near Queen Elizabeth II
BOOOOOOS: Tony Blair receives royal honour
Captured Britons sentenced to death in Ukraine
Barbados PM Mia A. Mottley among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Today's headlines
"Just One Of the Boys In School:" Years That Shaped Prince Charles
BVI Premier Rubbishes Claim Of Causing COI Delay
Comments on "Human Intelligence in a Digital Age" - A brilliant Speech by MI6 Chief Richard Moore, and the elephants neglected in the room
Bitcoin: BoE Deputy Gov wants to cancel democracy and protect the banks with regulations which infringe on people’s freedom, independence and benefits they get from their own money.
What are the Pandora Papers?
Taiwan-China relations at their 'worst in 40 years'
The attempt to hold Epik.com accountable for the content of its clients' websites is like blaming Gutenberg for the NYT's fake news that dragged the US into the pointless war against the nuclear weapons Iraq never had
×