Watch: Ambulance worker's plea for callers to treat paramedics as 'humans'.
An ambulance worker who was told that all staff are "worthless" and "deserved to be shot" has called on people to treat everyone with respect.
Emergency medical dispatcher Kitty has released a video asking callers to remember that "we're all humans".
Her work involves answering 999 calls from members of the public, but she says she was left disheartened after a caller said "all of our staff are worthless and deserve to be shot."
Speaking in the video, Kitty said: "One thing I'm finding particularly difficult at the minute is the level of abuse that our staff are facing. Most recently a patient told me that all of our staff are worthless and deserve to be shot.
"While this is upsetting for obvious reasons it's also really disheartening to think that people don't even value the service we provide to them."Our staff work hard 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and so to not even be given the most basic form of human respect is really, really devastating."If I had one thing that I wish all of our callers and patients knew it would just be that we're all humans."
The video follows the South Western Ambulance Service recording the second busiest day in its history last week, while patients at the Royal Cornwall Hospital were left queuing in ambulances earlier this year.
Most recently, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said it is having to deal with extremely high attendances.
The ambulance service trust added that it is experiencing significant pressure with very high demand in Plymouth and across the region.
Kitty also reiterated the service's message that patients should only call 999 in an emergency and should seek help from other services, such as 111, unless it is life-threatening.
"If our 999 are being used appropriately, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to get to every single patient in a timely manner," she said."On my last shift I had to help a couple deliver their baby on the side of the road because all of our local crews were seeing to other patients."Thankfully mum, dad and baby all did exceptionally well. But this could have been a very different story. If our 999 lines hadn't been being taken up by other non-urgent patients we perhaps could have got someone out to them faster."Things like vomiting and diarrhoea for example, although sometimes requiring medical attention, do not need emergency pre-hospital intervention."The same can be said for minor cuts, sprains, fractures and bruises. If our 999 calls are being held up with things such as these we're not able to see our most critical patients who are in need of help.
The plea comes as paramedics working at Derriford Hospital said they "have had enough".
The crew member, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We need to put out there what’s happening as the hospital and SWAST (South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust) aren’t blunt enough.“Emergency crews have had enough.”Another added: "It's ridiculous, we cannot meet the demand of calls even if we had double the ambulances."As the hospitals are full, we can't off-load patients anywhere near quick enough to keep up the demand."Despite the huge demand on hospital staff, workers have been praised for their "tireless efforts" in dealing with the pressure.The hospital also thanked staff for continuing to provide patients with the best possible care.
A hospital spokesperson said: “We can confirm we are experiencing extremely high attendances to our Emergency Department, a pattern replicated among other hospitals across the country."We continue to ensure patients are prioritised in order of clinical need and are seen in the shortest time frame possible."Patient safety remains our main focus and we would like to thank the staff for their tireless efforts in responding to the ongoing pressures and their commitment to working for our patients to provide the best possible care.”