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Summary

A beautifully written insight into the stresses, strains and successes of working for the London Ambulance service.

Is there anyone who hasn't wondered about the state of the occupant of an ambulance, screaming along with its sirens on and blue lights flashing? Have you? And have you wondered about the other people inside the ambulance, maybe fighting to save the patient's life? Or have you considered that the ambulance may be another 'maternataxi' ordered by a woman who can't be bothered to book a real cab and who then complains she can't smoke on the way to hospital? And that the medical technician inside might just be desperate to get back home from a busy shift, to have a cup of tea and catch up with his blog?

Meet Tom Reynolds. Tom is an emergency medical technician who works for the London Ambulance Service in East London. He has kept a blog of his daily working life since 2003, and his award-winning writing is, by turn, moving, cynical, funny, heart-rending and compassionate. It is never less than compelling.

From the tragic to the hilarious, from the heartwarming to the terrifying, the stories Tom tells give a fascinating - and at times alarming - picture of life in inner-city Britain and the people who are paid to mop up after it.

©2010 HarperCollins Publishers (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about The Complete Blood Sweat and Tea

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Borderline offensive and embarrassing to LAS

The majority of this book is great, the narrator really creates a character and it’s easy listening.

And the majority of the book and it’s content is great, however. At times, the authors language and frequent expression of disgust and distaste towards alcoholics and other addicts is cringe worthy.

For someone who’s job it is, is to deal with the most vulnerable of society when in need, his distaste towards any form of addict, and his clear view that they are not worth his time, skills or that of the nhs is an embarrassment to the service he represents.

Nobody choose to be an addict. They’re sick people too and need help, probably more than most.

He seems to believe he is better than them. Whilst the job he does is heroic, he is not a hero and is not above “jobs” or “junkies”

Ruined what was an interesting read turned it off in front of my father in law as I was embarrassed by what the narrator was reading.

Worth noting his frequent comment about the race and cultures of his patients is just as toe curl inducingly awkward at times.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting stories but from a very rude angle

I’ve listened to a few of these books from healthcare workers and I find them very interesting. Most of them manage to tell the stories in such a way that you get the real nitty gritty but you can tell they still care. The writer of these stories comes across as rude and judgemental and at times very crass indeed. If things like that don’t bother you then this could be an enjoyable listen but otherwise I’d say it’s not worth the download.

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What a miserable person

I usually love hearing these recounts (as a healthcare worker myself) but I couldn’t get past how miserable and judgemental this man was. Not a single story went by without him passing judgment or making rude remarks. Clearly has been very lucky to never have battled addiction or ill health. A sore example of how the UK’s healthcare workers see the world.

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brilliant

.makes you angry at the idiots in the story, makes you laugh makes you cry, brilliant book.
and sir if your ever reading this, for saving that wet, smoky poo cat, I'll love to buy you a pint, well done my friend

1 person found this helpful

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A good insight - but from the wrong eyes?

This is one paramedic's views and experiences of his job, the people he comes across and the ambulance service in London as a whole.
Interesting yes, but I wish it had been written by someone else. The author comes across as judgemental and opinionated. It would be good just to have the facts without all the asides, so that the reader/listener can make their own decisions about the different situations. Also it would have been better if the author wasn't trying so hard to be PC that they end up sounding bigoted. It would be better to not mention a patients colour, race or ethnic background than to mention it and then go on about how mentioning it isn't racist. The author needs to work on their descriptive writing or hire a ghost writer.

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling listening

loads of brilliant stories from the frontline of the NHS, it's form 2010 so one can only assume that In the past 11 years the NHS has got the investment amd funding it needs and that everything has impro......(looks over)....oh my god.

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Very, very informative.

Long but needs to be to make its point. A look at real panic and insult and dullness of monotony the ambulance staff live every day.

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Fantastic, funny and very real

A brilliant retelling of some fascinating jobs. A really interesting insight to the world of paramedicine.
Really easy to listen to, excellent narrator

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Hard times in Newham

A difficult listen. One has to wonder why this guy stayed in the job! Seemed to be one long moan after another . I used to be a "first aider" for 40 + yrs and had seen some gruesome sights so can appreciate some of what he goes on about, but after a while his comments got to be , sorry to say, boring !

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Wonderful insight

Wonderful insight into life on the ambulances and some times veryfunny for extra value! Super!