I saw this at the BBC news site this weekend.

Many people use the clocks going back to gain an extra hour in bed – but a sleep expert says the change can actually leave people tired.

Even such small changes, said Dr Neil Stanley, can disrupt sleep routines and cause semisomnia – low grade exhaustion caused by inadequate rest.

…and laughed like a drain.

You see, I work rotating shifts which plays sheer bloody havoc with your body clock, leading to an increased risk of getting such illnesses as diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer, depression and (while not a disease) divorced.

Let me tell you about my sleep pattern over the past few days.

Tuesday night – Four hours sleep.

Wednesday night – Four hours sleep.

Thursday night – Twenty one hours sleep.

Friday night – Forty minutes sleep.

Saturday night – Eleven hours sleep.

Sunday night – Eight hours sleep.

I think someone somewhere said that regular sleep is good for you? This sleep pattern is me on 'day' shifts, when it gets to fitting into night shifts it gets even worse. Then I end up staying awake something like thirty-eight hours.

If I didn't do these rotating shifts then my £400 a week take-home pay would be cut by around 25%.

I love the government.

Yesterday was quite a pleasant shift, plenty of things to write about, but I'll start off with the only bad job of the day.

Called by a 'good Samaritan' (on which more later) to a 'male collapsed in the street', we turned up to find a drunk male snoring away in the rain.

We can't leave them there, because we'll only get called back to them and the police won't take him, so we loaded him up onto the ambulance and went.

Let my paperwork speak for itself.

'Patient found asleep in the street, smells heavily of alcohol. Pupils large and sluggish, nystagmus. No obvious physical injury. On waking refused to allow me to take observations. Told me to “Fuck off”, which is apparently the only English he speaks. Unable to get details of patient. Acting aggressive.

On arrival at hospital patient attempted to hit me, told me to “fuck off” again and left the ambulance and walked off.'

Sadly, not an unusual job.

Here is an idea – if we pick up a patient drunk from the street, we should take the to hospital (unless someone decides to operate a 'drunk tank'), there they receive their treatment, then the police are informed and the patient is hit with a penalty charge of £100. The proceeds of which then go to the NHS.

Of course what would be better would be to have private companies running 'drunk tanks' where the 'patients' are looked after until they sober up – and then are charged for the privilege.

29 thoughts on “Clocks”

  1. I think the “drunk tank” is an excellent idea, especially with the festive period approaching. When you described it before in a previous post i tried to think of a way of how to operate it. Something along the lines of:- Container with windows i.e like they have for offices on large construction sites

    – Staffed by a Staff Nurse/NA or EMT/Paramedic and either a Security Guard or Police Officer/ 2 PCSO's or maybe even a TA Field Hospital Unit

    – Patient presenting at A/E (Ambulance or otherwise) triaged appropriately for any injury

    – Any patient that is drunk but uninjured is sent to the tank to sober up rather than taking space in A/E dept

    – Modest furnishings i.e. Army camp bed and woollen blanket (maybe a pillow if they're lucky!)

    – Upon sobering up pt given a fixed penalty for drunk and disorderly or the like and letter breaking down the charges for their care if they had to pay for it.

    Hopefully it would shame enough people in to thinking twice about doing it again but some people just won't learn. This idea is not without it's flaws, as with most things with the NHS it come down to cost/who's going to pay for it or how it would be run or even where the staff would come from to operate it. Another thing human rights of the individual, duty of care to the patient etc etc all come in to play but something should be looked into by trusts in to caring for these individuals without taking up space for someone who may really need it.

  2. I can see how sleep, or the lack of it could become an obsession.As a kid my dad was grumpy the week before he did 'a week of nights' grumpy whilst on nights and grumpy the week after, by which time we were just about back where we started!!

  3. Can't you, if he's not in any danger, just use him to prop up a sign saying “Ambulance already called to this drunk. He told us FUCK OFF. He wasn't in danger, so we left him here. If he stops snoring and can't manage another “FUCK OFF” when you poke his leg, feel free to call the ambulance for him again.”It might make the sod embarrassed when he wakes up cold and hungover, plus leaves you guys free to do other more important things.

  4. I have considered sticking a post-it note to their forehead saying 'Just drunk, no need for an ambulance'.Of course, that'll be the one person who dies later and I end up in front of the coroner's court.

  5. I don't think that human rights would enter into it – what would be the most limiting factor on things would be 'when someone dies, who'll get sued?'.We did once have a 'drunk bus', but I believe that it has folded because no-one wanted to work on it. I mean, how many people joined an ambulance service to babysit drunks?

  6. That, of course, is the other problem.How about putting up the tax on alcohol to pay for it?

    (On a slightly related note, the drunk in the above comment later tried to pay me to take him home – with a 50 note. I see 50 notes so rarely I thought it was funny foreign money. Luckily the hospital CCTV cameras were there to see me refuse it).

  7. And how do court deal with such people? Don't they recover the fine a bit at a time from their benefits? Or force them into treatment programmes?Whatever it is, isn't it better than 'enabling' them in their addiction?

    (How about aversion therapy? I could be allowed to beat them with 'a stick, no thicker than my thumb'…*grin*)

  8. well, as a very occasional drinker i would have no problem with that & agree with the argument for it, but i suspect the rest of the population would take a lot more convincing … tax increases are never popular, whatever the logic behind them!

  9. How about putting up the tax on alcohol to pay for it?Why should I have to pay extra because some people can't drink responsibly?

    Here's a better idea – if they can't pay, then they should have to stay off the sauce for a week and help out at the drunk tank; a week of cleaning up other people's sick and piddle and listening to their drunken blethering might help them reconsider their actions.

  10. in answer to your first question, i have no idea. i do know of people who have paid off fines at a rate of 1 a week & similar, but how enforceable this is when you're dealing with people of no fixed abode i wouldn't for aversion therapy, well … i don't really like the idea of anyone being beaten with anything! *cue fluffiness about there needing to be more resources put into specialist drug & alcohol treatment programmes, as well as into tacking the root causes of homelessness and substance abuse etc etc*

  11. Smashing idea! It may even save money in the long run as it would keep them (and NHS and police staff) from being assaulted/assaulting others and going to casualty/jail later on.Just as an aside, when did it become acceptable to get so smashed out of your mind that you get sick, violent, or end up sleeping rough? I realise that this gentleman *cough* was probably homeless, but it didn't seem acceptable when I was a kid (and I'm only 30, so no jokes please) growing up in America. In fact, anyone that did that sort of thing got the piss taken out of them for not being able to hold their drink and not asked out again!

  12. Yes, I laughed too when I saw that BBC article – 3 days to recover from a 1 hour time change – do me a favour!!!I usually get about 5 hours sleep when I'm on days and around 4 hours in each 24 when I'm on nights – and boy, am I mister grumpy afterwards.

    Think I must have attended your patient's brother on Saturday night. Told me his name was Wayne Kerr and that my colleague was a C**t. Where possible we try an avoid taking these pissheads to hospital. If I can take them home and inflict them on their relatives then I will. Trouble was Wanker had no I.D. (we did wonder whether the 'good Samaritan' had helped himself) and he refused to tells us where he lived. Sadly he was last seen being chucked into the back of a police car having told the Copper he was a C**t for the twentieth time. What a waste – and the guy was probably only 16 or 17.

  13. Oh yes please to the drunk tank. But can we have CCTV direct fed onto the big screens in the pub the next night so the frequent fliers can get to see how pathetic they look?It is absolutely bonkers that people are proud of drinking so much they become incontinent and fall over. My one year old can pee herself and fall over quite well, but I wouldn't boast about it.

  14. I didn't know hospitals could contact the police and notify them about drunks, don't think any of my locals do that.When I go out drinking with my friends, if any of us 'overdo' it the rest of us will make sure that that particular person gets home in 1 piece and withot getting into trouble. All too often I go to drunks (mainly the younger ones) who are 'abandoned' by their 'friends as soon as they fall over.

    On the subject of younger drunks, why do teenage girls never tie their hair back before necking a bottle of Vodka? do they think that blokes find vomit in hair attractive?

    Drunk tank sounds like an excellant job for johnnies.

    Oh and how do drunks afford it, I can barely afford to go out drinking once a week.

  15. Why not use the Big Brother House as the Tank and then use the phone in more an bonuses for the ambulance staff who ferry the drunks there

  16. I rather like the idea of a private-enterprise drunk tank with a sobering-up charge at the end…can't you just see the better-dressed drunks being targetted and pursued round the streets, car keys akimbo, by overalled “attendants”!!!

  17. -“Oh yes please to the drunk tank. But can we have CCTV direct fed onto the big screens in the pub the next night so the frequent fliers can get to see how pathetic they look?'–then get thy Russian vodca and whiskey companies to have adverts for the next free drink to pay for the show , and then a box for payment to turn the screen to another drunk tank free commercial.

  18. For 60 years plus, I have watched people getting falling over drunk wasting money colouring the sidewalks with vomit, many have died choking on the the stuff, I fail to comprehend.Every repeating drunk should be pay a fee, by cleaning up the puke of other offenders, on repeating the game of lying in the appropriate gutter, the fee should go up, then spend a day in a morgue that has young victims of drunk offenses.

    As a student of long past I served in a pub to support my tuition costs , and was amazed at some workers, whom would spend all the money they had earned while their offspring went hungry and many a crying wife[?] [churched or not] would beg me to short change their Alfie , who would not know, being too hung over too care. [did not do it, but was sorely temped]

    Friday night it would be the dearest stuff in the house , by Sunday night, it be cheapest in the house, as there be no tab for most, with the shouts of “I'm good for it” still, even now ringing in my ears.

  19. A collegue that used to work in my service took the right shoe of every drunk he went out to and disposed of it, although im not condoning this action whatsoever, the cost of a new pair of shoes did punish them in both pocket and soul (see what i did there). as for tiredness my wife who doesnt work shifts just would not accept that they “screw you up”, until I had six months off with a back op and then she noticed how i was awake past 9pm and everso more cheerful 🙂

  20. I note that Sunnydale didn't seem to have any street sleepers, and no-one would wish to be unconscious there much past sunset.Therefore, given that privately operated drunk catchers would inevitably screw up and end up killing diabetics, stroke victims and others who have collapsed incoherant for medical reasons (because sheer greed has never worked when it comes to the management of human behaviour, and human health) I suggest we cut to the chase and just GM some vampires.

  21. PS Perhaps from the shredded DNA of existing shift workers….? In which case, you'd only need a one-word change to your tagline at the top!

  22. Nah, if they turned up at all they'd get all arsey about how they ain't gonna clean up someone else's puke blah rights blah you can't make me blah and the paid co-ordinator would have to deal with a tank full of drunks AND a handful of arseholes, in a bad mood from alcohol withdrawal, making their job even more of a misery.

  23. There is no response I can give to that without revealing myself as a Buffy geek (I was young! I didn't know what I was doing!) but I seem to recall that the vampires didn't like drinking from drunks or drug addicts because the poisons in the bloodstream made it taste awful./coat

  24. a very good idea 'the greek' however, may I add another charge to their criminal record; wasting emergency service time!!! and give them the fine for the ambulance/fru time!Even if this 'drunk bunk' idea doesn't work (even though it is the most amazing idea ever!) they should still be charged! I think the police have enough on their hands as it is though so… 🙁

    Oh well, it's been a chucklworthy post!!!

  25. smoochie597 : that is why we can never solve the problem , there be always a flip side. 'umans have 5 external senses and 5 internal, and they must always be pleased, some can use the that grey matter and resolve their pain after pleasure with pain before pleasure,

    but there be one sense that be common but not in use.

    , that why we be 'homo saps'

  26. LOL another fine idea down the pan! :o)I wonder though, if yer vamp started out as an alkie – after all, few of us like the taste of our first drink of alcohol… one for the R&D teams I reckon.

    And there's nothing wrong with being a Buffy fan (or Dr Who, Star Trek….) it's all good stuff!

  27. I'm posting a rather late comment on this, in support of my earlier point about diabetics, as I just came across this article:Diabetic in coma tasered on bus

    Given that this was the police, who in general are fairly decent, the idea of profit motivated companies picking up anyone a bit incoherant, with an eye to a bonus, is surely now something that is completely unthinkable?

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