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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Respect ambulance staff

From Dr Rob Rosa

Downton, Wiltshire

In response to 'irked by jack-booted ambulance personnel' (Letters, 18 June), I hope the writer is alone in deploring the alleged arrogance of the ambulance service.

They are not there soley for the transportation of patients in the remit of a taxi service. Rather they are highly-trained crew who are responsible for the patient's condition during transit.

On these grounds they have every right to demand an up-to-date summary of the condition of the patient, plus any changes that may be anticipated to occur.

I suspect the arrogance lies with the GP in question and not the crew who require these most elementary of details.

• From David Munday

Emergency care practitioner

Great Western Ambulance Service

NHS Trust

My views are not necessarily the views of my trust, but as an ambulance practitioner of some 22 years I feel I have to take issue with the author of the inflammatory view about 'jackbooted ambulance personnel'.

All too often when dealing with patients requiring ambulance transport from GP surgeries, I've seen patients with MIs placed in a side room, with no aspirin or oxygen being administered while the doctor sees the next patient.

We often do need to open letters written by GPs as, in the majority of cases, the GP has vacated the scene, leaving a letter and a drowsy patient who is unable to give any details of the current episode due to their condition or having been given strong analgesia.

Respect has to go both ways. And if I may say so, the arrogant posturing by the letter writer makes it sound as if he or she feels threatened by the 'new kids on the block'.

Like it or not, a good GP will get respect from ambulance staff because they make it their priority to communicate effectively with all levels of health care staff.

We are, or should be, playing for the same team.

The author implies that taking blood pressures and giving lifestyle advice is beneath a GP's abilities and has dented the public standing of the profession – I couldn't disagree more.

The NHS is detecting illness and disease at earlier and earlier stages. A sharp eye on basic observations is crucial to this end.

Ambulance service staff are not the 'new frontliners' as claimed. We have been around for quite a while....just maybe you haven't noticed us before (touches forelock!).

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