Paramedic told patient to ‘shut the f*** up’ then abandoned him in ambulance


A foul-mouthed paramedic has been found guilty of misconduct after he told a patient to “shut the f*** up” before abandoning him the back of an ambulance.

Fuming Richard Playford, 64, launched the tirade of abuse at the 25-year-old man who had dialled 999 complaining of crippling stomach pains.

Bizarrely, Playford stormed out the back of the ambulance and was later found a mile away by stunned colleagues on May 5 last year.

On Monday Playford, who has worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service for 30 years, was found guilty of misconduct at a disciplinary hearing.

He quit the ambulance service shortly after the complaint was made against him last May.

During a hearing at the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in London, Playford claimed he was diabetic and feeling unwell during the incident.

But the panel decided the paramedic’s behaviour was “inexplicable” and amounted to misconduct.

In a written ruling the HCPC conduct and competence committee said: “By his own account, Mr Playford became very frustrated with Patient A and told him to ‘shut the f*** up’.

“Mr Playford left the ambulance, leaving Mr Ahmed (the other paramedic) to deal with and treat patient A.

“His behaviour fell well below the standards of behaviour expected of a registered paramedic and amounts to misconduct.

“His decision to walk away was irresponsible and put Patient A at risk of potential harm.

“His medical condition is not regarded as either an excuse for, or a cause of, his misconduct.”

Sophie Lister, presenting the case for the HCPC, said Playford and his partner Raza Ahmed responded to a 999 call from the man, who was complaining of stomach pains.

She said the angry scenes began when the patient stopped answering Playford’s questions saying he “did not like his tone and attitude”.

She added: “Mr Playford said words to the effect of ‘That is it, I have had enough, I’m off’ and exited the vehicle closing the door.”

After he was found he eventually returned to the ambulance and apologised for his behaviour.

It had been alleged that Playford attempted to drag the patient out of the ambulance and stormed off with the keys to the drug safe, but the council dismissed these claims.

He was allowed to remain a paramedic after the panel decided he was not a significant risk to patients in his new role.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm that Paramedic Richard Playford was employed by the Trust when the incident occurred.

“Mr Playford resigned from his role with the Trust shortly after the incident and that resignation was accepted with immediate effect.

“An investigation that was already underway was concluded and the results of that investigation were made available to the HCPC for this hearing.

“Mr Playford hasn’t been an employee of the Trust since late May 2013.

“The Trust always expects the highest level of care and professionalism from its staff and unfortunately that was not the case on this occasion.”

Playford, from Kitts Green, Birmingham, has since begun working for a private ambulance firm.


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