Friday, 15 January 2010


I had promised myself I wouldnt blog on the tedious matter of the snow. However it is directly effecting my work so its hard to avoid.

Personally I love the snow, I have a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa(RP) which makes me as good as blind at night. However the is now this nice reflective white stuff everywhere meaning I can safely walk around at night now(and I love night time). Also as I have size 14(UK) feet and always wear my magnum boots I have no problems with slipping.

Professionally I am concerned about the strain this is putting on the local hospitals. The larger of the two local acute hospitals was completely out of beds for several days recently forcing ambulances to divert to a much smaller and already strained hospital(where I work). My hospital has reopened a ward to try and take some the strain. This ward is entirely staffed on a day to day basis by bank staff, there are no permanent staff on this ward at all. I have got plenty of shifts booked there as a healthcare assistant (the money is good) however it cant be good for patient care to have different staff on every shift throughout their admission.

A&E departments are swamped by fractures(mostly elderly) and the ambulance service is overwhelmed by people who are perfectly able to get to their gp's office but have decided that an ambulance is a much warmer way to get a paracetamol prescription for their headache.I honestly believe these people should be fined, I am certain that the income generated by these fines would pay for a lot more paramedics, nurses and even a doctor or two.

1 comment:

Vincent said...

During the snow, my wife has managed to get to work on all days but one, when she was too scared of slipping on the ice. The hospital is walking distance and she works in Infection Control as departmental secretary, so though it's a humble position and not clinical, she's a vital cog in the overall machine. Vicariously, I share in the teamwork of hospital life, by supporting her in the background.

It's easy as an outsider to see a hospital as a resource, a utility like electricity and water to take for granted but it takes an emergency (snow in UK or much bigger catastrophe, as in Haiti) to realize how fragile and precious a hospital is, dependent on individual dedication each day. On one day, the greatest heroes, or at least the ones on whom the whole hospital depended, were the men with shovels and grit, who could push the stuck vehicles out of the way for the ambulances and doctors and nurses to get to work.