Not time wasted

Your correspondent from Braunton complained that when he awoke with backache and phoned 111 an ambulance was immediately despatched to his home (“My ambulance was waste of resources”, Opinion, December 4).

This same week I awoke paralysed with back pain and for the first time was obliged to use the Initial Care Service and push the button on my necklace to get help.

So, stuck on the end of my bed unable to do anything other than support my weight on my hands, the response was to arrange for a medic to be despatched immediately.

The Ambulance service did, however, phone within seconds (as I was warned it would). This is a double check. Isn’t this also the 111 response?

Either way, with the assurance that it appeared to be a muscle problem, I was given the choice of hospital or a call to my doctor.


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Having chosen the latter he searched the house for my painkillers, made me comfortable in a chair and made me a cup of coffee before putting in a call to my doctor’s practice and leaving the matter in their capable hands.

Do you really think that was time wasted?

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I couldn’t have done this myself, as I live alone and couldn’t have reached a phone.

If my problem had been a backache which allowed me to tackle stairs I would not have been wasting the time of any state service.

J Denniss

Barnstaple

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