Joined: Jul 21, 2004 Posts: 2624 Location: Chelmsford, UK
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:55 pm Post subject: SatNav Blamed As 2nd Liverpool Ambulance Fails To Arrive
Mapping suppliers, Royal Ordnance Survey, have denied that its data was to blame after a second ambulance is reported to have got lost in Liverpool.
The NHS have promised an investigation after satnav error was blamed for the non-arrival of an ambulance which was unable to locate the home of a child who was thought (mistakenly) to have meningitis. The parents eventually set off to hospital in their car and saw the ambulance crew two streets away, who, according to the ambulance service were "outside the house"... obviously the wrong one.
It later became apparent that the ambulance crew were unable to find the house as the road layout has been changed five years earlier.
Tragically, ten year old Kane Wade died last year after his parents waited for more than 14 minutes for paramedics. The two incidents happened on the same estate.
North West Ambulance Service say they use a amalgamation of computed aided dispatch system, a mapping software connected to the telephone system, A to Z maps and car satellite navigation systems.
Royal Ordnance Survey said that it had updated the new road layout in February 2010. They said "How the end user systems interpret the information and plan the route is about software encoding and integration into other systems which is something beyond our control."
"Royal Ordnance Survey"? I heard it called many things in the years I worked for Ordnance Survey but that's a new one on me ("Audience Survey" was my favourite).
Rather than blaming the mapping providers (a subtle change from the norm of blaming the satnav) this really does beg the question of why the ambulance driver didn't know their patch sufficiently well to know that road changes had been made allegedly 5 years earlier.
.... this really does beg the question of why the ambulance driver didn't know their patch sufficiently well to know that road changes had been made allegedly 5 years earlier.
It's all too easy to blame the satnav.
How do you know they were a local crew ? I used to work for Berkshire Ambulance Service in the days before GPS navigation and we ended up responding all over the county, not just our own area of Slough.
It's all too easy to blame the driver. _________________ Mike Burgess
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Again, blame the technology. OS digital mapping is dependant on many elements, there is a review every five years of all the newly acquired digital imagery to the digital images AND maps currently in use. Differences are then surveyed by OS surveyors.
In the case of road changes, creation of new roads et-al, how are OS expected to know there has been a change if no-one (local authorities in the main) has bothered to inform OS of the changes/additions?
It's also interesting to read that the ambulance service in that region depend on a whole host of information sources to produce their mapping and on a collection of car satnavs. Surely if they have all this mapping data and report changes to their provider, and apply regular patches then some part of their system should pick up on the error or at least there should be a second source to immediately fall back on for verification of the location and required address, perhaps by going online to an OS database over GPRS or 3G? Otherwise, they need to look at the glue (integration of all components) making the solution as to why one part of the system can drop out, the entire despatch system fails.
Fairly basic system design for mission critical systems... what happens if their system has a complete failure?
Of course, coming from 25 miles further north of Liverpool, one could always ask that they provide receipts for the purchase of all components
Joined: Apr 14, 2010 Posts: 1016 Location: West London, UK
Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:14 am Post subject:
Given the state of Ambulance Service finances, perhaps it would be no surprise that they may have chosen to reduce expences by delaying the cost of map updating? _________________ Mike R [aka Wyvern46]
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