Great Ambulance Journeys



As  a  driver  of an electric wheelchair, imagine the joy I felt

when  I  heard about the new ambulances that the L.A.S had .. My

cup  runneth over ..... I must use this long-overdue wonder next

time  I  have an appointment.  Then in May my chance came ... an

appointment  ....  only this time I could now be taken to Whipps

Cross  in my own chair, no more sitting about having the time of

my life waiting for porters.


.... BLISS I HEAR YOU SAY but read on.




On   Thursday   14th   May  I  received  a  letter  altering  my

appointment for an Ultrasound test to 20/5/92 at 13.20


On  Friday  15th  May  I  phoned my G.P to arrange transport for

myself  with own electric wheelchair to Whipps Cross for the new



On  Tuesday  19th May I phoned Whipps Cross transport to confirm

that  booking  for  myself  with  own  electric  wheelchair  for

appointment  at  13.20  20/5/92 had been made. I was assured it



On  Wednesday  20th May 12.30 I phoned Whipps Cross transport to

confirm  transport  was  coming. I was assured all was in order,

they were on their way.


I  rang again at 13.30 and was told, don`t worry they`re coming.


14.45  they  arrive,  only the ambulance has no tail-lift or any

facilities  to  transport  me  with my chair.  The ambulancemen,

who  were  very helpful, have no information regarding my chair.

They  arrange  for  suitable  transport  which arrives within 15




There  is  a happy ending ......  I did get to travel on the new

ambulance......eventually .


But jesting aside this is a very serious problem


Don`t  leave  your  chair  on the promise “~There`ll be plenty at

Whipps Cross" cos there ain`t any!


If  you  need  to take an electric wheelchair make it clear that

you  need  it  when  you book and check it has been booked. Make

sure  you  get  the  ambulance  you  NEED because there’s nothing

worse than no chair if you need it.



If  all  goes  wrong  like  above,  let the L.A.S know by letter


because they can`t ignore that easily.



your roving reporter


Ralph `not quite Michael Palin` Edmunds




One  day  I  hope  to  tell you a tale of when Phase 1 was first

born, of a hero whose wheelchair had been left at home and whose

notes were at Wanstead..... Chilling Stuff .





Around London in 80 Days - Great Ambulance Journies 2



This  is  the  second  and I hope last tale of the L.A.S I shall

have  to  tell.   In this new tale I have become braver and will

attempt  an  ambulance  journey  with  my  own wheelchair across

London to Guy`s Hospital.


Armed  with  a  letter from the Ambulance King, gained after my

last epic tussle with the L.A.S, promising his assistance for my

safe passage I felt invincible.  Silly me!


I  received  my  appointment to attend Guy`s 10.30 am Friday 25th

June  and  immediately  took  out  my magic letter and booked my



Thursday  24th  dawned  and  like  all good adventurers I double

checked  my  travel  arrangements.  There was no record of me or

my  journey;  by  late afternoon and 4 or 5 phone calls later my

trip  is  traced.    I  was  informed  that I should have booked

through  my doctor, it appears that the magic letter should only

be  used  if  problems  do  arise (shutting the stable door etc.

does leap to mind)


Friday  arrived I was concerned that I may not be ready when the

ambulance  arrived,  yet  another  wrong  assumption,  it didn`t

arrive  till  10.40.  I was very distressed when I found that we

had  to  go  to Barts. first.  Fortunately I was delivered first

so  we  arrived  at  Guy`s  at  about  11.40.    Beware  also ye

travellers  the  driver  may  not  know  the  way, luckily I did.


After seeing my doctor I returned to the transport area at about

12.45.   They phoned to arrange my return journey and told me to

get  a  drink and something to eat while I was waiting so I did,

I  also read my book, sat in the sun, went back to the transport

area,  took  40  Winks  then  checked to find out what happening.

Carol,  yes  we  were  on first name terms by now, phoned again.


They  say the crew that brought you finish at 3pm Carol tells me


No problem says I its only ten to two.


But  their  shift  will  finish  by the time they get there says

Carol They`ll see what can be done


Anyway  the L.A.S`s best effort was they would try and get to me

at  4.30 pm, finally we decided that the L.A.S would arrange for

a  black  cab  to  take me home.  True to form the L.A.S botched

this  and a cab was sent from Ilford (seems the L.A.S don`t know

about  radio  cabs)  I  arrrived  home  at  4.20pm.   Lucky that

Colombus  didn`t  use  the  L.A.S  to  find America coz he would

still be there if he had.


Eternal  optimist  that  I  am  I  believe they may get it right

before I depart this mortal coil.


Its  small  wonder  that  people  use  their  Taxicards to go to




Ralph (aka Marco Polo) Edmunds