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Paramedics abused over ambulance parking

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19 February 2018

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Paramedics found an offensive note on their ambulance ordering them to move the vehicle, after it was parked outside a resident’s house yesterday (18 February).

The hand-written message was found after the team parked the ambulance in a parking space in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, after a local resident with breathing difficulties had called 999.

The team, which works for West Midlands Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust, was also subject to verbal abuse according to the Staffordshire Police.  

Paramedics found an offensive note on their ambulance ordering them to move the vehicle, after it was parked outside a resident’s house yesterday (18 February).

The hand-written message was found after the team parked the ambulance in a parking space in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, after a local resident with breathing difficulties had called 999.

The team, which works for West Midlands Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust, was also subject to verbal abuse according to the Staffordshire Police.  

Paramedic operational manager Mike Duggan shared the picture of the abusive message on the ambulance van on Twitter.

The message read: ‘If this van is for anyone but No.14 then you have no right to park here.

‘I couldn’t give a s**t if the whole street collapses.

‘Now move your van from outside my house.’

A 26-year-old-woman has been arrested today (19 February) following her abusive behaviour.

'We will not tolerate abuse'

Commander for Stoke North Local Policing Team and chief inspector John Owen said: ‘We will not tolerate abuse or intimidation of our emergency services. This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we will take appropriate action against offenders. 

‘The arrest relates to matters of verbal abuse that could constitute offences under the Public Order Act. This is not solely about the note.’ 

In another tweet to Staffordshire police, paramedic Katie Tudor said that they are starting to see more of these comments.

She wrote: ‘Is there anything that can be done about this? It’s becoming a regular occurrence.’

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: ‘Sadly, as this ambulance crew discovered yesterday, there are unfortunately still a handful of narrow-minded individuals who consider leaving vile abusive notes acceptable.’

The trust welcomed the news of the arrest: ‘We have a zero-tolerance policy towards people who abuse our staff whilst trying to help patients in their hour of need. It is completely unacceptable and it must stop.

‘As a Trust we welcome Staffordshire Police’s swift response to this incident and the arrest of the woman. We will continue to work closely with the police to ensure the perpetrator feels the full weight of the law.

‘We have a zero-tolerance policy towards people who abuse our staff whilst trying to help patients in their hour of need. It is completely unacceptable and it must stop.’

According to the 2016 NHS Staff Survey, the figure for staff that experienced physical violence at work from patients or service users, their relatives or other members of the public in last 12 month went up 0.6%, going from 1.45% in 2015 to 1.51% in 2016.

Twitter reactions

Paramedic mentor Katie Tudor wrote on Twitter: ‘They weren’t blocking the road, they were in a parking space… just obviously annoying someone that an ambo was outside their property…’

Commenting on the note, twitter user Duncan Railton said: ‘The person does NOT own the space outside of their home. It is the queen's highway. People seem to think they own the road outside their home. Must be a relative to Donald Trump.’

Paramedic Colin Wright wrote: ‘This is a disgrace, do people not realise us emergency service works need to respond and park accordingly, the last thing we think about is "am I blocking somebody's drive" the clue is in the title & we deserve a little respect!’

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