Karl Portz, MSc, is the equality and diversity lead at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. His current work involves working with seldom heard communities to address some of their health inequalities. He has 25 years of experience in the ambulance service, which ranges from working as a frontline paramedic to managing operational staff. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rising Ambulance Life-Threatening Call Demand in High and Low Socioeconomic Areas
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2012
Copyright © 2012 Bridgepoint Education, Inc. and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture
Volume 3, Issue 3, pages 5–19, October 2012
How to Cite
Portz, K., Newell, R. and Archibong, U. (2012), Rising Ambulance Life-Threatening Call Demand in High and Low Socioeconomic Areas. J of Psych Issues in Org Culture, 3: 5–19. doi: 10.1002/jpoc.21063
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2012
Ambulance service demand is increasing in the United Kingdom. A common speculative view makes a link between this rise in demand, deprivation, and certain medical conditions. This study explored factors influencing English ambulance service demand in two areas of differing socioeconomic status. Adopting a causal comparative design, the study compared the numbers of life-threatening calls that Yorkshire Ambulance Service receives and serves in two geographical areas within the Hull and East Riding area. The area of lower socioeconomic status generated significantly more life-threatening calls than the area of higher socioeconomic status; these calls often supported younger patients (mean age 59 years versus 71 years) for breathing difficulties (29% versus 14.5%) more commonly. Tackling inequality will require a whole-systems approach, effective leadership, and recognition of the benefits of understanding difference. A key relationship will entail engaging with seldom heard communities.