"Does the ambulance delay because I have a mental health problem?"
About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance Scottish Ambulance Service Emergency Ambulance EH12 9EB
Posted by mbw (as ),
Earlier this year an ambulance was called to my home because I was suicidal. I saw the ambulance arrive outside, and then proceed to wait for a significant time without anyone leaving the vehicle. I do not remember them entering my home, because by the time they did I had lost consciousness.
I spent 2 days unconscious in hospital. I was later told that they would have waited outside because there was 'a mental health marker against my address' and so they would have waited for the police to attend as well before entering.
I have a mental health diagnosis, but have never been violent to another person or been thought to pose a risk to others by any of the psychiatrists who have assessed or treated me.
How did this marker come to be put against my address? It seems that it is direct discrimination against people with mental ill health, which increases their risk of death or adverse outcomes by delaying their care in an emergency.
I was much more unwell by the time I received assessment or treatment than when the ambulance arrived. I'd understand if there was a risk to staff to wait for police, but this has never been the case. Mental ill health and being suicidal is not a criminal offence.