East Midlands chasing trust status again – why?

Somebody needs to correct me if I’m wrong, but I could swear that the East Midlands Ambulance Service were touting the idea of trust status around the bazaars sometime ago. I said it was a flawed proposal then and I’ll say the same again now. The job of an ambulance service is pretty well understood, even by me. Answer the phone, then go quickly and safely to wherever somebody needs help. Once there, give immediate medical assistance and if needed, take the sick person to a hospital. So even if the EMAS is a poorly performing service, how will becoming a trust improve things?

When the suits came and made their presentation to the district council, I was particularly concerned to read that they intended to elbow their way into the first aid training market, using ambulance service paramedics. I’ve no problem with the principle, everybody should know first aid, but currently it’s a limited market and one that gives organisations such The St John’s Ambulance Brigade a valuable source of income. Putting the East Midlands Ambulance Service (Trust?) in to direct competition with such charities, doesn’t seem like a particularly worthy goal to me and I told them so.

Also, reversing the turkeys not voting for Christmas analogy, the chief executive is bound to support this proposal, as it’s a racing certainty that trust status will bring a significant pay rise. if not immediately, almost certainly within 12 months.

The glossy brochure they handout the first time around, didn’t really give any clues as to how the award of trust status would increase the number of ambulances, or improve response times and I doubt anything has changed.

South Holland a dangerous place for young drivers

Lincolnshire roads are some of the most dangerous for young drivers, with the roads in South Holland apparently the most dangerous of them all.

I’ve no doubt people of a certain age – mine – will be making the same comments about this story as they always do, it’s not the roads, it’s the drivers! That is of course true for the most part. I have yet to hear of a road actively injuring, or killing a driver, passively yes, but actively no, that requires the intervention of a bad, but not necessarily young, driver.

Watching a news item on Look North tonight on the subject of our dangerous roads, I saw them teaching some young people to control a car on a skid pan, with the kids involved very much enjoying the experience. I don’t wish to be a killjoy, but the purpose of the exercise was supposedly education not enjoyment. Given the basis for the news story, slipping and sliding around the relatively safe environment of a skid pan, doesn’t wasn’t even educating the kids in the right way.

I won’t be the first to point out that it isn’t the mechanics of driving the car that’s the problem for young drivers, many pass their test first time and with a minimum of professional lessons – the biggest problem with young drivers is their attitude. This could be described as over-confidence, arrogance, bravado, showing-off in fact, all of these and more. Bad attitude from young drivers is on display nearly everyday of the year and also on many summer nights, in Sainsbury’s car park, let alone out on our public roads. Until we tackle this aspect of young driver training, we will continue to see hundreds of young lives damaged and wasted on the roads of the UK.