City MP shadows paramedics for the night – and says experience was an ‘eye-opener’

MP Flick Drummond while she was out shadowing an ambulance crew
MP Flick Drummond while she was out shadowing an ambulance crew
Philip Astle, SCAS chief operating officer and, right, Paul Jefferies, assistant
director of operations

Ambulance service scoops honour for services support

12
Have your say

THE pressures facing paramedics and the NHS were witnessed first-hand by an MP.

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond spent some time with a crew from the South Central Ambulance Service to see what they face on a daily basis.

They were praised by the politician for their knowledge and professionalism.

During her five hours with the paramedics, Mrs Drummond went across the patch from Southsea to Titchfield and then to Port Solent.

She said: ‘People say MPs are shielded from the real world.

‘But I try to do my best to ensure this is not the case. To do this was a humbling experience.

‘It has given me an insight into what is happening at the sharp end of the NHS.’

Mrs Drummond attended several 999 callouts, including a suspected cardiac arrest, before going along the M27 with blue lights on, to a girl who had a fit.

Her shift also included going with the crew to a 92-year-old man who had breathing problems.

He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, and Mrs Drummond was given a chance to see how he was handed over to hospital staff.

Mrs Drummond added: ‘I would like to thank Scas and the ambulance crew for allowing me to see how they work and the fantastic job they do.

‘I was able to see a very dedicated paramedic and trainee paramedic in action who knew the area really well.

‘I was also able to see the pressures the NHS is under and the fact the ambulance was old and needed replacing.’

Mrs Drummond said one of the main challenges facing the NHS was funding, but warned there would never be enough money as needs get more complex and the type of treatment widens.

But she said: ‘With the resources the service has, they are doing a great job.

‘I was really impressed by their knowledge, how amazing they were in dealing with people and I would be very happy to have them looking after me in a crisis.’