Abusive caller jailed

iPhone in a hand

The Trust’s Frequent Caller Team have recently been part of a successful prosecution against a prolific known regular caller who was abusive towards our call handling, ECAT and front-line staff.

Tracey Ford from Basildon called the Trust 438 times between January 2018 and January 2019.

The vast majority of these calls were dealt with by EOC and ECAT staff, however on 19 occasions an ambulance was sent for a face-to-face assessment; none of these resulted in a conveyance to hospital.

The Frequent Caller team worked hard to engage with Tracey Ford and the wider Health Care Professional community to help her reduce her demand on both our service and other services however this work failed to make an impact.

Tracey Ford’s 999 calls utilised a huge amount of EOC call handling and ECAT time which reduces their availability to deal with genuine 999 calls. Police involvement in frequent caller cases is relatively rare and only used as a last resort where all other measures have failed.

Tracey Ford was prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act and following a Magistrate’s Court Hearing she was found guilty of ‘Persistently making use of the public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety’.

She has been sentenced to a total of 12 weeks imprisonment, ordered to pay costs to the Trust of £100 and given a 5-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

The CBO states that she must not call the 999-emergency service unless in the case of a genuine emergency that would require immediate attendance of the emergency services.

It also stipulates that if making contact with the emergency services for a genuine reason she must not use foul, offensive, abusive or threatening language or make false claims.

Published 11th May 2019


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