THE ambulance service has condemned a Lymington resident who left an abusive note to a pair of paramedics who blocked their drive.
The message, which said: “Dumb ass! You are fully blocking my driveway”, was swiftly posted as a picture on social media by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust yesterday (Wednesday).
A spokesperson for the trust described the reaction as “completely unacceptable” and explained crews have to park as close as they can to an emergency to save precious minutes.
The person who left the note on the vehicle had even gone to the trouble of covering it with plastic to protect it from the elements.
A statement by the trust on Facebook did not give the precise location, but said: “Sadly, this was what Zoe and Chris came back to on their ambulance after attending a medical emergency in Lymington, Hampshire, today.
“This sort of abuse is completely unacceptable.
“When our staff attend medical emergencies, they need to park as close as possible to the patient’s house in order to get to them and start treatment as quickly as possible.”
It added: “Whilst they will always try and park without obstructing traffic or anyone’s driveway, it’s not always possible as the alternative of parking further away could add minutes to their arrival time that the patient they’ve been sent to simply doesn’t have.”
Sadly, Zoe & Chris came back to this note in Lymington, Hampshire, today. It’s not always possible to park without obstructing traffic flow or driveways as parking further away could add minutes to our arrival time that the patient simply doesn’t have #DontAbuseOurStaff pic.twitter.com/xVLap5rv37
— SCAS (@SCAS999) November 27, 2019
Fellow NHS leaders backed the ambulance service in speaking out, with a statement issued by Dr Sarah Schofield, chair of the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning group.
She said: “Ambulance teams and the wider NHS support patients and save lives across Hampshire.
“No NHS staff should suffer any form of abuse, and it is vital that emergency services can access people’s homes as quickly as possible to treat a medical emergency.
“We would like to thank ambulance teams for their continuous hard work and dedication, especially as we head in to the busiest time of year.”
Reaction on social media condemned the note, with more than 800 comments made by Thursday morning with the post shared more than 1,000 times.
Some angrily criticised the abusive writer, with others offering emergency services a cuppa and the use of their loo, if required.
One woman commented: “Unbelievable. Just hope that person is never the emergency they might be more understanding and compassionate.”
Another added: “Makes me ashamed to live in Lymington and welcome to block my drive anytime.”
One man said: “Just pathetic from the person to do this. Hope they are found and police take action against them. This isn’t on.”
On Twitter, another person said: If you need to, you can block my drive, park on my drive! If you need to plug something in, there is a plug, help yourself, same with water. If you need the loo, or just want a brew, just knock.
“You will always be welcome at my home. All blue light services are heroes.”
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust serves more than 7-million people across an area comprising Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, with non-emergency transport for Sussex and Surrey. Its southern HQ is in Otterbourne, Hampshire.