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Legislation for Ambulance Service forcing entry to property.


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Interesting question arose today...

Whilst I understand that there is a defence against criminal damage regarding paramedics/ambulance crews forcing entry.

Is there any specific legislation that dictates a power of entry?

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Wellying doors in is one policing demand I don't want to hand off to another agency!

Never known fire to go to an ambulance entry assist. But i suppose if wouldn't know if they did.

Its semantics, they were on the property illegally. Had they not gone in they wouldnt have been in situation in the first place. I've lost count the number of times I have seen the Mental Capacity Ac

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SimonT

As far as my research can find, there is nothing in the law, other than general defence to criminal damage, tresspass etc to save life and limb. 

 

Police and fire have their own legislation. I suppose because ambulance are never going to need a power as they are only ever going in to save life 

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Sceptre

The ambulance don't seem to do much forcing of entry under their own steam, we seem to end up doing it for them, but if they did I'd imagine they'd rely on presumed consent both to cause damage and to enter the premises. It can't be that common for people to sue ambulance trusts for trespassing in their house after all.

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Milankovitch

Found policy documents online from the London Ambulance Service that suggest crews should force entry to premises if somebody inside requires urgent assistance. Apparently a few other ambulance services have similar policies but I'm not seeing any mention of legislation. Might well be some obscure common law power to force entry in certain circumstances which is being relied upon as often seems to be the case.

 

On a slight tangent, the fire service in Scotland are the first port of call when the ambulance service need help forcing entry to a premises (and they have the powers to do this clearly set out in legislation), seems like something that could be replicated across the UK to reduce the burden on the police.

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MindTheGap

Found policy documents online from the London Ambulance Service that suggest crews should force entry to premises if somebody inside requires urgent assistance. Apparently a few other ambulance services have similar policies but I'm not seeing any mention of legislation. Might well be some obscure common law power to force entry in certain circumstances which is being relied upon as often seems to be the case.

 

On a slight tangent, the fire service in Scotland are the first port of call when the ambulance service need help forcing entry to a premises (and they have the powers to do this clearly set out in legislation), seems like something that could be replicated across the UK to reduce the burden on the police.

Such as S44 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 - this is what the West Midlands Fire Service would use to assist WMAS crews

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SimonT

Never known fire to go to an ambulance entry assist. But i suppose if wouldn't know if they did.

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MindTheGap

Never known fire to go to an ambulance entry assist. But i suppose if wouldn't know if they did.

The case being ultra secure houses in certain areas, the police MOE kit wasn't available so WMFS rocked up and gave it some action...

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MerseyLLB

Wellying doors in is one policing demand I don't want to hand off to another agency!

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ParochialYokal

It wasn't uncommon for ambulance crews to carry a crow bar 15-20 years ago. I guess that things are subject to more scrutiny these days.

Nonetheless, if LAS operational protocols suggest that their crew should force entry then that probably amounts to evidence towards a defence.

Edited by ParochialYokal
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BlueBob

Such as S44 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 - this is what the West Midlands Fire Service would use to assist WMAS crews

Interestingly vague bit of legislation.
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Burnie

We had this a couple of months ago when I was working with an MoE team and we were sent to an 'Assist Ambo' job.

Fire have a VERY wide power of entry.

Police have a number of specific powers of entry.

Ambulance have absolutely nothing. No power of entry at all.

They have defence to trespass (presumed consent) but no entry power. This is why they will call us to put a door through using our "Life and Limb" power if there's no open windows they could shimmy through but can't (shouldn't) boot it in themselves. Though I'm fairly sure that if they did (do) then it would be Not In The Public Interest.

Edited by Burnie
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Sectioned Detection

The problem arises when police use Sec 17 to gain entry to a suicidal person, it doesn't confer the power to ambulance crew. So if the person tells the paramedic to clear off then they have to leave.

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ParochialYokal

I think that ambulance staff, especially paramedics, may find themselves in a difficult position when having to make decisions under pressure. Regardless of what the law says, they could find themselves having to account for their actions before the HPC. Ultimately, they could get struck off.

I'm not sure that they would get struck off for being over zealous in forcing entry if they had a reasonable belief. I am sure that they could find themselves fighting for their professional registration if they failed to act when clearly it was a life or limb situation.

Edited by ParochialYokal
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MerseyLLB

Which is absolutely no different to making decisions as a Police Officer.

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