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Could my idea help the NHS a bit? Watch

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    Hey!

    I was watching the local news, and they were speaking to an NHS paramedic. He was saying that the service is overstretched and everything, but something that didn't help on top of that, was calls that weren't emergency calls.

    He was saying why there were delays sometimes in getting ambulances to those who really needed them, was due to nuisance callers or ambulances getting to locations where there weren't actually emergencies.

    I have an idea... why not make 999/112 a premium rate number? Charge around £3 or £5 per minute.

    If it's a genuine emergency... the charge will be cancelled.

    If it's not an emergency... for example when they get calls like "my cottage pie is a bit burnt", then they'll be charged the £9-£15 for the 3 minute call for their stupidity, and that money could go back into the NHS... funding for more staff or into research?

    If time wasters know they'll be charged that much... they'll less likely phone the emergency services because they'll not want to get charged, and so the phone lines will also be free for a genuine emergency, and the relevant forces will also be able to get to those genuine emergencies faster.

    What do you think? Either way, the NHS and the public will be better off surely?
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    if you only have 50p credit and you see a car accident... how are you going to afford a £3 call ?
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    Sorry, are you suggesting we make 999 calls premium rate at £5 per minute...? Even if this were sensible, how much do you think it would cost to administer the charge/refund scheme you propose?
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    (Original post by the bear)
    if you only have 50p credit and you see a car accident... how are you going to afford a £3 call ?
    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Sorry, are you suggesting we make 999 calls premium rate at £5 per minute...?
    If it's a genuine emergency, it wouldn't be billed.

    If you had 50p credit - then that's fine. I mean it would be billed at a later date depending on whether it is a genuine emergency or not. If you're on pay as you go, most pay as you go phones are registered so a bill could be sent by post, or your credit could go into a minus figure.

    I'm just saying it would stop time wasters, or if it didn't, the money would go back into helping the NHS.

    I'd hate for the NHS to become BHS. That's all I'm saying.
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    (Original post by 2scotty)
    Hey!

    I was watching the local news, and they were speaking to an NHS paramedic. He was saying that the service is overstretched and everything, but something that didn't help on top of that, was calls that weren't emergency calls.

    He was saying why there were delays sometimes in getting ambulances to those who really needed them, was due to nuisance callers or ambulances getting to locations where there weren't actually emergencies.

    I have an idea... why not make 999/112 a premium rate number? Charge around £3 or £5 per minute.

    If it's a genuine emergency... the charge will be cancelled.

    If it's not an emergency... for example when they get calls like "my cottage pie is a bit burnt", then they'll be charged the £9-£15 for the 3 minute call for their stupidity, and that money could go back into the NHS... funding for more staff or into research?

    If time wasters know they'll be charged that much... they'll less likely phone the emergency services because they'll not want to get charged, and so the phone lines will also be free for a genuine emergency, and the relevant forces will also be able to get to those genuine emergencies faster.

    What do you think? Either way, the NHS and the public will be better off surely?
    How many people do you think would be put iff calling at all or prevented if they didnt have the money? You could be deterring the wrong people i.e those who need help.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    How many people do you think would be put iff calling at all or prevented if they didnt have the money? You could be deterring the wrong people i.e those who need help.
    If it was something that was a genuine health concern - maybe not requiring an ambulance, that would be fine.

    I just mean when people say things like "I've got a cat stuck up the tree" or things like that.

    It was just there was an incident in work recently where a customer had to wait over an hour for an ambulance. I thought it was disgusting if I'm honest.
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    999 is a special number that can be called for free, all you need is a SIM card.

    Same if you call 999 from a phone box, making the number premium rate will mean people who have no credit/no contract will not be able to call and get help.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    if you only have 50p credit and you see a car accident... how are you going to afford a £3 call ?
    emergency calls don't cost credit
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    (Original post by 2scotty)
    If it was something that was a genuine health concern - maybe not requiring an ambulance, that would be fine.

    I just mean when people say things like "I've got a cat stuck up the tree" or things like that.

    It was just there was an incident in work recently where a customer had to wait over an hour for an ambulance. I thought it was disgusting if I'm honest.
    Its an idea, but the downsides are too great imo. Education is a better solution.
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    (Original post by BBS_)
    999 is a special number that can be called for free, all you need is a SIM card.

    Same if you call 999 from a phone box, making the number premium rate will mean people who have no credit/no contract will not be able to call and get help.
    I didn't think about phone boxes, although BT seem to be removing them!

    Regarding pay as you go, pay monthly and landline calls - the initial cost would be free, but if it wasn't an emergency (e.g "I have an emergency... there is a fly in my soup", then you would be billed to your address for pay as you go, and for your landline or pay monthly you'd have the charge added onto your bill.
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    No.
    Educating patients is the key in here. Lots of people don't know what a real emergency is and whatever what they are experiencing is classed as one or not. Furthermore, each age group has different 'cut offs'. Persistence of infection in adults is not as bad as when it occurs to an eldery person or a newborn.
    Making people pay for calls will simply mean they won't call at all. I am a medical student myself and I know chest pains are emergency but if I knew I had to pay for the call, I would still be hesitant cause what if my chest pain is just a heartburn? Furthermore, how will you persuade people in public to call the ambulance? If you see someone collapse, do CPR someone has to call for you. No one will be willing to do that if they knew they can be charged so much.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Its an idea, but the downsides are too great imo. Education is a better solution.
    Ok thank you. It was just an idea obviously.

    It just angered me when it took an hour for an ambulance to arrive for someone, when the time was probably wasted by silly calls.
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    (Original post by 2scotty)
    Ok thank you. It was just an idea obviously.

    It just angered me when it took an hour for an ambulance to arrive for someone, when the time was probably wasted by silly calls.
    Never be afraid of voicing ideas. A more reasonable alternative would be charging people a small fee for visits or missed appointments, but that ahs drawbacks.

    Also if you knew why the delay happened and how many callouts are wasted then you would be in a better psition to judge.
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    (Original post by Nottie)
    No.
    Educating patients is the key in here. Lots of people don't know what a real emergency is and whatever what they are experiencing is classed as one or not. Furthermore, each age group has different 'cut offs'. Persistence of infection in adults is not as bad as when it occurs to an eldery person or a newborn.
    Making people pay for calls will simply mean they won't call at all. I am a medical student myself and I know chest pains are emergency but if I knew I had to pay for the call, I would still be hesitant cause what if my chest pain is just a heartburn? Furthermore, how will you persuade people in public to call the ambulance? If you see someone collapse, do CPR someone has to call for you. No one will be willing to do that if they knew they can be charged so much.
    Have you read my post?

    If it is a genuine emergency, for example, someone has collapsed... you will NOT be charged!

    It's for silly things like "my toast has burned" (but there is no fire) which wastes the emergency services.

    The charge would be applied afterwards. It will still be free to call 999/112, but if it's not an emergency - for example, something silly like "my cat has been out twice today", then you will be charged. If it's a health risk but doesn't require an ambulance - for example a bad cold which requires the Doctors, then you will not be charged.
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    (Original post by 2scotty)
    Have you read my post?

    If it is a genuine emergency, for example, someone has collapsed... you will NOT be charged!

    It's for silly things like "my toast has burned" (but there is no fire) which wastes the emergency services.

    The charge would be applied afterwards. It will still be free to call 999/112, but if it's not an emergency - for example, something silly like "my cat has been out twice today", then you will be charged. If it's a health risk but doesn't require an ambulance - for example a bad cold which requires the Doctors, then you will not be charged.
    How do you execute whats a genuine emergency and whats not?
    If you call 999 to say your toast burnt and you have the emergency service arrive you are fined anyway (and if you don't in here, then implement your idea that way).

    The main issue with your idea is that it will prevent people from calling. You try to use the stick approach, which is not the way forward in medicine (IMO at least).
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    This would be a bureaucratic nightmare and totally not worth it.

    The people you try to bill will appeal in a large proportion of cases, maybe even take it to court. This means that your paramedics would instead be wasting time filling out lengthy 'emergency callout refund' forms to ensure they are protected from court action... for every single call-out. Whereas nuisance callers are a very small number.

    That's even putting aside the impact you could have on deterring true emergencies from calling.

    A huge proportion of NHS workers' time is already spent filling out defensive forms for legal purposes. Don't add to it please.
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    (Original post by Nottie)
    How do you execute whats a genuine emergency and whats not?
    If you call 999 to say your toast burnt and you have the emergency service arrive you are fined anyway (and if you don't in here, then implement your idea that way).

    The main issue with your idea is that it will prevent people from calling. You try to use the stick approach, which is not the way forward in medicine (IMO at least).
    The emergency services won't go to someone who has burnt their toast?! They wouldn't anyway... so the money from the wasted call would go back into the NHS/emergency services.

    It won't prevent people because if it's a genuine risk to life/health risk etc, then people will still call.

    I mean it will just stop the pointless calls like "my bus is late" or something silly like that if people will know they'll eventually get a bill for those calls.
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    (Original post by 2scotty)
    The emergency services won't go to someone who has burnt their toast?! They wouldn't anyway... so the money from the wasted call would go back into the NHS/emergency services.

    It won't prevent people because if it's a genuine risk to life/health risk etc, then people will still call.

    I mean it will just stop the pointless calls like "my bus is late" or something silly like that if people will know they'll eventually get a bill for those calls.
    Okay, you either use proper arguments as to what you consider not an emergency or there's no point in discussing it. No one calls NHS to say their bus is late, so don't use this as an argument.
    People call the ambulance for things like 'my child has a very high fever and he won't cool down', but when the paramedics arrive the very high fever turns out to be 38C and the child won't cool down because its buried in blankets.
    People call the ambulance saying they cut their leg and it won't stop bleeding badly, but when the services arrive its barely dripping.
    Those issues do not need immediate medical attention, but there's no way you can know when you receive such call. And it may be that the people in these scenarios didn't know 38C in children is not urgent or that bleeds tend to stop after some time, even if they first seem deep. And then imagine these people getting fined (since it was not an emergency) and telling stories to their friends how high fever in children and major bleeds aren't emergencies. Their friends are less likely to call when their kid has 40C or when they cut an artery.

    Only idiots prank NHS number, but if we were to implement your idea in order to punish these idiots, many *innocent* people will suffer cause calling an emergency that isn't an emergency will have to be punished too.
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    (Original post by Nottie)
    Okay, you either use proper arguments as to what you consider not an emergency or there's no point in discussing it. No one calls NHS to say their bus is late, so don't use this as an argument.
    People call the ambulance for things like 'my child has a very high fever and he won't cool down', but when the paramedics arrive the very high fever turns out to be 38C and the child won't cool down because its buried in blankets.
    People call the ambulance saying they cut their leg and it won't stop bleeding badly, but when the services arrive its barely dripping.
    Those issues do not need immediate medical attention, but there's no way you can know when you receive such call. And it may be that the people in these scenarios didn't know 38C in children is not urgent or that bleeds tend to stop after some time, even if they first seem deep. And then imagine these people getting fined (since it was not an emergency) and telling stories to their friends how high fever in children and major bleeds aren't emergencies. Their friends are less likely to call when their kid has 40C or when they cut an artery.

    Only idiots prank NHS number, but if we were to implement your idea in order to punish these idiots, many *innocent* people will suffer cause calling an emergency that isn't an emergency will have to be punished too.
    See this, then make your mind up. I don't mean a child's fever. I mean calls like this...

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    (Original post by 2scotty)
    See this, then make your mind up. I don't mean a child's fever. I mean calls like this...

    okay, I see what you mean now. However, all of these people seemed dead serious about their *issues*. I don't think they prank called, but were just stupid af. That's why I still believe education is the way the forward, it just needs to cover more than I could have imagined.
 
 
 
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