Papering over the cracks of a failing Ambulance service

papering over the cracks of a failing ambulance service

Hampshire Police Federation have reacted to Hampshire Police Special Constables responding to medical emergencies

Talks are underway between Hampshire Constabulary and the South Coast Ambulance Service for Special Constables to be given enhanced medical training so they can act as co responders to medical emergencies. This would see Special Constables deployed to calls which would normally be attended to by an Ambulance.

Reacting to this news Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation John Apter said: “Police officers will always give emergency first aid to those who need it; this is something which will never change. Officers are trained to give basic first aid and in many cases their intervention has saved lives.

“It is no secret that the Ambulance Service has been struggling to keep up with demand. We see the reality of this with officers waiting considerable times with injured people for an Ambulance to arrive. Delays have been so bad that on occasion’s police officers will take those requiring emergency medical care to hospital themselves.

“For the police to be used as co-responders, which would mean officers being deployed to a medical emergency is simply papering over the cracks of a failing Ambulance service. Policing has never been under so much pressure, our numbers are down but our demand is up. Police officers struggle to cope with the demand already placed on us. It seems we are the service who just can’t say no.

“Our colleagues from the Special Constabulary do a fantastic job in supporting their colleagues; they are an integral part of policing. Like their regular counterparts they should have first aid training so they can deal with what they come across in their day to day duties, but to act as a reserve Ambulance service is risky for them and is ignoring the bigger issue, the Ambulance service needs fixing.”