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
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