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Ambulance Wait Times – A Disgrace

Liz Truss famously called our proportion of imported cheese “a disgrace”. I disagree. I think that world trade is generally a good thing, especially for things that other countries famously do extremely well. The idea of self-sufficiency is a fairly laudable one, but not for something like cheese. Energy, yes. Education, yes. Healthcare, yes. Cheese? Not so much.

This leads me nicely on to the topic of ambulance wait times, which are a genuine disgrace. I have a personal story associated with this, though I have kept some of the details private.

I had cause to report a medical emergency this weekend. It wasn’t a life-threatening issue, but it was debilitatingly painful for the person involved. I consulted NHS 111 because I wasn’t sure that an ambulance was warranted, and that site said to call 999, which I promptly did. I was then on hold for nearly 9 minutes, constantly being told that “the ambulance service is very busy” and “the first question you will be asked is ‘is the patient breathing?'”. Luckily the patient was indeed breathing, otherwise I expect that 9 minutes would have been more than though time for brain death to set in.

Ambulance with rear doors open to show the inside.

One of our fine ambulances, though I didn’t see them in this case.

Once I finally managed to speak to an operator, they went through the triage process and concluded that we didn’t need an ambulance, referring us back to NHS 111 (who, if you recall, had already concluded that we did in fact need to call 999). At this point we decided that it would be safer to move the patient to an appropriate A&E department, as it seemed that neither of the two services available to us was prepared to help. I do not blame either service, as the levels of chronic underfunding mean they have to select which patients to work with, and the lack of a unified approach means that the two services are ultimately encouraged to blindly pass cases between themselves.

Returning to my first point, this is the true disgrace. Had the patient in this case been a heart attack, stroke or other major accident victim, they would likely have died while I was on hold to 999. The idea that an emergency call should take 9 minutes just to connect to an operator is simply not good enough. Indeed, the target ambulance response time for a maximum-severity case is supposed to be 7 minutes, so a 9-minute wait to even speak to someone breaches that target before the ambulance can even be dispatched.

The true disgrace is not that we import the wrong amount of cheese, it’s that we have so badly underfunded and under-resourced our emergency and health services that we as taxpayers can’t even speak to an emergency operator in a reasonable time when we need help.

I won’t even go into the waiting times once we actually got to A&E, as that’s something that has been covered extensively elsewhere, but I thought it would be useful to offer some insight into ambulance services from someone that actually needed help.

Final thought: patient was eventually discharged from A&E with strong painkillers and an instruction to return to hospital the following work day for investigatory work.

Hazeena A

Ian, thank you once again for your support. It means a lot.

Thank you so much for [creating this petition] and so amazingly quickly!!!

You did a brilliant job on both the blog and petition. Some of the NHS staff were even impressed with the speed at which you addressed this, and I have had varying positive comments from friends who have read your post.

Hazeena A – Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner Resident

Sheena Y

Having worked with Ian I can say that I found him incredibly transparent and honest which I think would be rare and much needed in today political arena. He is also very clever, direct and a great communicator.

Sheena Y, former co-worker

Andy H

Ian is a very smart individual, but more importantly is honest and truly cares about people.

He is an unselfish individual and would absolutely have the public’s best interests at heart.

Andy H, brother

Luca M

I met Ian a few months ago for the first time and straight away I felt confortable with him and I thought: ” Ok I would trust that guy”.

Luca M, fellow speakers’ club member

Francisco V

Throughout the 12 years I have known Ian, he has always demonstrated to be very bright, kind and upright. I’ve seen all of these attributes in his personal life, for instance, in our sport association he volunteered as treasurer where he improved the overall system and costs as well as championing charitable giving & generous donations. He’ll definitely make a difference in a bigger role in politics.

Francisco V, fellow jū jūtsu instructor and friend

Irene H

You have the moral integrity and high standards in all aspects of the requirements of your potential constituents. You will stand up to injustice and defend those deemed to have had injustice against them. You are committed to environmental change and to look after the less well off in society.

Irene H, mother

Graham C

First and foremost, your personal ethos of kindness and care for others is your top qualification. That you are also highly driven with a need to be productive, and understand very complex matters such as financial systems, makes you stand out.

Graham C, fellow jū jūtsu instructor and friend


You are one of the most principled people that I know. You are committed to making changes that support the most vulnerable in our society and you don’t give up when you know you’re fighting for what’s right.


Helen C

Unlike the rest of us who are disillusioned with the lack of honesty, morals, and the unfair and outdated ‘public schoolboy network’ displayed by this government, you have decided to stand up and make a difference.
Your constituents couldn’t have a better candidate.

Helen C, Aunt

Miles H

Having known Ian for a number of years during which we worked closely as Financial Advisers, I am confident that he would make an excellent MP. Ian is an intelligent man who has the ability to absorb, understand and manage complex information quickly; I have, on many occasions, witnessed him do this whilst retaining the ability to explain it, in a manner which is easy to understand.

I have seen Ian display the courage of his convictions on a professional level, where he has put the clients needs before that of the company and have no doubt he would carry this attitude into public life.

Ian and I have disagreed on politics in the past, but he has always listened carefully to any position and taken time to offer a thoughtful response. If he became an MP I am sure his constituents would benefit from an effective and hard working representative.

Miles H, former co-worker

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