Search

‘I will find you and kill you’ - Control room staff at region’s ambulance service suffer abuse from callers every day

PUBLISHED: 12:06 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:06 07 December 2017

The ambulance control room in Hellesdon.
 Senior control room manager Paul Vinters talks to Chief Executive Robert Morton.
 Picture: Sonya Duncan

The ambulance control room in Hellesdon. Senior control room manager Paul Vinters talks to Chief Executive Robert Morton. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

Emergency call handlers and control room staff at the region’s ambulance service are being abused nearly every day by people they are trying to help.

Staff have been sharing their stories of the unacceptable verbal abuse they receive.

Some have talked about losing sleep over calls, and one worker said they had been “reduced to tears by the shear venom that some callers can vent at me.”

Another said they were threatened by a caller who said “I will find you and kill you”, and another caller screamed at a member of staff calling her “uncaring, nasty and useless”.

A survey of East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) staff revealed that 78pc received verbal abuse every shift or regularly.

The comments are being released as part of the service’s Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign.

Gary Morgan, deputy director for emergency operations centres (EOC) at EEAST, said: “It is unacceptable they experience abuse from callers when they are trying to do their best for patients.

“Our emergency call handlers help save lives and are a vital part of the ambulance service.

“They give CPR instructions when a patient is not breathing and in cardiac arrest, they help with the birth of babies and are a reassuring voice when a vulnerable patient is having a crisis.”

Jenny Coventry, who has worked in EOC for 13 years, said she dealt with abuse from callers nearly every working day.

She added: “What is most upsetting is where the abuse appears to be unfounded, often from drunken callers or callers under the influence of other substances. The abuse becomes personal. In some instances threats of violence have been made, for example, ‘I’m going to track you down’.

“In other cases it is nearly impossible to help the patient as there is a prolonged stream of abuse and any attempts to calm the caller seem to fuel the fire.”

Shelley Moore, a call handler for two years, said abuse can have a have a physical effect on staff.

She added: “It’s horrible, and as an emergency service we should not have to tolerate it. We must not tolerate it.”

Other news

Yesterday, 23:22

Megan Baxter is a keen gymnast, she trains 19 hours a week and has won numerous county competitions - and she is only eight-years-old.

Yesterday, 06:30

A family-run foundry in Norfolk was approached by Selfridges to create new bronze signs for their flagship store in London.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Age UK is urging the people of Swaffham to take part in an autumn clear out to support the charity’s annual Big Bag Challenge.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Winds are expected to reach up to 49mph across the region as the Winter sun comes to an end and rain sets in - although not before another fine day today.

Most Read

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A new store and drive-through coffee shop may soon be built in Necton if plans are granted by Breckland Council.

Read more
Breckland Council

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Inspections of the RAF’s new stealth fighter fleet and has paused some flying following the crash of a US jet.

Read more
Downham Market
Saturday, October 13, 2018

Age UK is urging the people of Swaffham to take part in an autumn clear out to support the charity’s annual Big Bag Challenge.

Read more
United Kingdom

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today
E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Watton and Swaffham Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy