Have to wonder how much of this sort of crap goes on in this country.

The ambulance crew had been sent to Barry Baker’s home after he dialled 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack.

Ambulance controllers kept Mr Baker talking on the phone as they ordered the paramedic and ambulance technician to use their blue lights to get to him as quickly as possible.

But 59-year-old Mr Baker, who was disabled and lived alone, collapsed unconscious while talking on the phone, leaving the line open to the control centre as he lay on the floor.
The police source said that despite Mr Baker collapsing, the controller was able to hear everything because the phone line remained open.

‘What they heard after their ambulance crew arrived frankly astonished them,’ said the source. ‘They are apparently heard to comment on seeing Mr Baker and saying-that it was not worth bothering to try to carry out resuscitation to try to save him.

‘They then are heard discussing what to tell ambulance control and allegedly decide to say that he was already dead when they arrived.

‘The controllers were so shocked by what seemed to be their colleagues’ lack of care for their patient that they immediately contacted senior managers and the police were called in.’

  1. Paddy-O says:

    Universal Health Care. A system you can count on.

  2. MotaMan says:

    Those guys must have been hanging around cops too much, picking up their bad habits.

  3. SpongeBad says:

    “Universal Health Care. A system you can count on.”

    What would happen in the US? Rifle through the guy’s wallet then say, “Oh well, he can’t afford to be saved…”

  4. Paddy-O says:

    # 3 SpongeBad said, “What would happen in the US? Rifle through the guy’s wallet then say, “Oh well, he can’t afford to be saved…””


  5. bobbo says:

    I’m with Motaman on this. Every, and I mean EVERY, paramedic I have ever known has been gung-ho to the nth degree to “save that life.” Its their entire self image.

    The ONLY way this could happen is if the team had many past engagements on a personal level with the patient, and that doesn’t seem present.

    Ambulance companies normally get paid for their trip whether or not the patient has money so the income angle should not be a factor, although that could be for management, not the paramedics.

    Too bad we can’t have follow-up on this. Love to know how this attitude came to be. Movie of the Week?

  6. Alex says:

    Actually, there is more incentive in a non-universal-health-care system to save a dying person than not. Under universal health care, the ambulance drivers have to stay with the patient until they’re taken into the hands of a doctor. Which essentially means that they have to “waste” a longer amount of their time if the man is alive, and thus they have to treat him, than if he were dead, and thus they don’t.

    Under a non-universal health care system, however, the ambulance drivers aren’t “wasting” their time/resources since they can simply cart them into the hospital and walk away. They’re more mercenary, certainly, but as they have no obligations once the patient is delivered to the hospital, they will have to do the same amount of work if the guy is dead rather than alive.

    Still a dick move one way or t’other.

  7. nomadwolf says:

    #6, that isn’t a necessary requirement of universal health care systems. Perhaps the one in the UK, but that can be fixed by changing guidelines/laws.

  8. Alex says:

    #7 – Very true. Though that is how it works in Canada, and I believe the U.K. (though have not had personal experience with the UK system).

  9. CovenantMG says:

    Wow. A couple guys are lazy callous assholes who are being paid. Period. Whether they are being paid under universal healthcare or not hardly matters. Instead of condemning the individuals for being horrible everyone tries to make this a soapbox for their own position on healthcare. Oh these guys, who are obviously so sweet, would have saved him.. but their paycheck comes from the government, if only someone private wrote them a check they’d be concerned for their fellow man. Give me a break.

  10. Paddy-O-Troll,

    Trolling again!!

    Clearly this is not a case of universal vs. non-universal health care. This is a case of despicable humans failing to do their jobs. These induhviduals were not personally going to profit under either system.

    On the lighter side, the 999 ops are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, cooperate to prosecute these criminals for not performing life saving resuscitation on someone who had clearly called for just such services and had not chosen to die.

    The 999 ops are to be commended for not becoming complicit in the crime by ignoring it.

  11. bill says:

    And it cost him $10,000 for them to go 2 miles right?

    You need to ride on the ambulance for a few runs to get a feeling as to who can be saved and who can’t…

    By the time they are called, things have gotten way out of hand usually.

    The motto is, call them sooner not later. It will save your life.

  12. Paddy-O says:

    # 10 Misanthropic Scott said, “Trolling again!!”

    Oh, you’ve come back to the blog. How’s your high school electronics class going?

  13. BryanP says:

    So what’s with the “Horrendous tales from the American medical establishment” banner when this took place in the Formerly Great Britain?

  14. SpongeBad: Against the law. In the US, an emergency medical facility can’t turn away a patient because of their inability to pay. They can chase after your money afterwards, however.

  15. #12 – Paddy-O

    Oh, you’ve come back to the blog.

    Always good to know I was missed. Thanks.

    How’s your high school electronics class going?

    Better than your HTML class.

  16. Paddy-O says:

    # 15 Misanthropic Scott said, “Better than your HTML class.”

    I should hope so. I don’t pontificate on HTML matters…

  17. QB says:

    #16 Paddy-O, you should be more concerned about HTML matters. The DOCTYPE sniffing controversy is riveting.

  18. bobbo says:

    Hah, hah. Paddy-O dumping on Scott in the quaint fashion of Mr Mustard, but with no where near the imagination and panache.

    I guess we are influenced by our friends and our enemies. ((Associaties and nonconfreres.))

  19. Mr. Fusion says:


  20. #16 – O-Troll,

    No. You don’t pontificate about HTML, though I don’t know why. You pontificate on a wide variety of subjects about which you know less then nothing. You never back up a word you say with a link. So, HTML being something you know less than nothing about would be a perfect subject on which you could pontificate.

    On one such post, by sheer dumb luck, you made a point. That puts you at about one in more than five thousand or so. And, even for that, I had to do the research because you refused to post a freakin’ link. So, post another five thousand meaningless replies full of complete and utter drivel. Maybe you’ll get lucky once again.

    Until then, bask in the glory of your one and only point that you have ever made in your entire life.

  21. iscott says:

    @ #13

    Bryan, that’s what I was thinking, this is the second such that I’ve seen today.


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