Relatives, and why we need them

Today I was talking to my aunt, aged 91, on the telephone when the line went dead. I tried to call her again, but all I got was the ringing tone.

I tried to ‘phone my three cousins who live nearby (within 20 miles), with no result. I was able to leave a message for one of them.

So I tried the NHS 101 hotline, from which I was diverted to 999 Devon Ambulance. They passed the call to another, sub-contracted, service, where I was invited to leave my aunt’s details (name, date of birth and address). They were not able to give any feedback about the outcome.

I later received a call later from my cousin, who had spoken to my aunt’s neighbour. Apparently her telephone battery had expired. There was no way I could now advise the emergency services that they were no longer needed because the reference number for Devon and Cornwall Ambulance Service was not valid for the sub-contracted service they had delegated.

What sort of convoluted “emergency” service has our government created, where the simple “999” number is now replaced by “101”, “111” and “112”, depending on the user’s perception of the scale and nature of the problem? We see on TV: “Emergency – is the patient breathing?”, but at no point today did I experience that level of need for speed of action. Care was evident from all, but all sense of activity was missing.

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General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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