An NHS paramedic has described how the public health system is struggling to cope with the thousands of calls received each day (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)
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The service isn’t coping at all.
Normally we would have between 3,000 and 4,000 calls a day but at the moment we are having that many by 11am.
I’ve been working nights all over Christmas and it really hit me that things were really bad on Christmas Day.
We had hundreds of calls waiting on Christmas Day. And these are Category 2 calls which should have a response time of 18 minutes.
The worst I have seen was eight and a half hours.
We turn up at the scene and patients shout at us because we’re late. We turned up at people’s houses and they had all their family over.
We want to see out families too but we can’t and we’re here looking after you.
They are refusing to wear masks citing some exemption, which they won’t tell us the details of.
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We don’t have the proper equipment and wear just paper masks which are supposed to protect you for an hour with an infected person.
We are sitting in the back of ambulances for hours with patients because there’s simply not the capacity in the hospitals.
People think we’re superhuman and we we get there and they are scared. But they don’t realise we are scared as well.
We get obituary emails about paramedics who have died from Covid and we are scared we are going to be next.
We are in this job because we care. We don’t get paid well at all.
The paramedic said they 'cry with guilt' when they can't help someone in need (stock photo)
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
None of us are sleeping at the moment because we are so stressed about it.
When we’re not able to give proper care, even when it’s not our fault we still feel guilt. We still go home and cry.
All we can do is appeal to the public to try and use other NHS resources if you can. Make your own way to hospital if you can and only call 999 if it’s a genuine emergency.
I had a call out recently and it was someone who wanted their battery changed in their TV remote.
We are knackered and we’re struggling.
So please stay home, wear a mask and cut us some slack if we turn up late.