The View From Ealing HospitalWe'd just started our shift yesterday (twelve hours) when we heard on the grapevine that the local hospital wanted to transfer a patient across London to Ealing. As we had just started our shift we offered up for it – that way someone who is looking to go home i a few hours doesn't get stuck halfway across the world.

The patient was quiet – well, he had no choice, he was paralysed and intubated, and we had an anaesthetist travelling with him. So it was a simple case of loading him up and shuttling him, on blue lights, across London.

16.9 miles might not seem too far, and I can hear rural ambulance people sniggering as I type this, but it is unusual for us. London is a funny old place and for a lot of us 5 miles is considered a long way…

Relying on the Sat-nav in our ambulance, we had an uneventful trip and our patient was soon unloaded.

Once more I came to meditate on the difference between hospitals in the West of London and the East. While both our local hospital and Ealing hospital are NHS hospitals, it seems that Ealing has had a lot more money to spend on it. It seemed cleaner, more modern and more up to date. As well as less busy. I had cause to think the same when I did a similar transfer to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital.

It seems that postcode lotteries apply to hospitals as well, as all our local hospitals have troubles with their budgets and look…well…a bit rubbish.

Heading back we got sent to two jobs, both really nice elderly people – and one of them gave me and my crewmate a bar of chocolate each. Nice chocolate as well, none of that Cadburys stuff.

Eventually we made our way back to our own area and noodled around doing our usual calls. Of which I will write of later, when I'm not running late for work…

19 thoughts on “Tourist”

  1. Yay, another Thorntons hater 😀 I can't stand the stuff…i'm sure there was a time it was better than it is now, but it just seems to sugery and slimy on the tongue :(I end up making my own usually. Temper about 200g of belgian 70% dark witha few drops of peppermint oil, and spread it dead thin over a sheet of grease paper. Leave to cool, chop it up with a pizza cutter, then in a bowl in the fridge. Much better than shop stuff IMHO

    I get mine here. The Barry Callebaut range is best I think 🙂

  2. Hey!! Cadbury's is great! 😀 Don't be slagging Cadbury's! I actually like you, don't make me change my opinion!! 😛

  3. I think cadburys is great but next to galaxy it isn't!! lol but then its all down to personall preference and how much u got for christmas. There is only so much cadburys ma body can take lol:)

  4. That really puts London into perspective in a bizzare kind of way 16.9 miles is “half way across the world”. Just out of interest Tom, how long did it take you to travel that far on lights? And how long do you think it would have taken if you'd just been running at normal road speed?

  5. Cadbury's has its place, I admit. There are days when a bar of Dairy Milk is just exactly what I fancy, and nothing else will do.However, the cocoa content is so incredibly low that in parts of the world it actually has to fight to be classed as “chocolate” – really, it's chocolate-flavoured sugar and fat and a bit more sugar and the much vaunted “glass and a half of full cream milk”.

    You shouldn't feed chocolate to dogs – it's poisonous to them. Feed a 200g bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk to a dog and it'll just go nuts on the sugar for an hour or so. There's not enough chocolate in there to have an effect.

    Go and try some quality milk chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 50%. This is a good one to start with. You'll never look at Cadbury's in the same way ever again.

  6. Isn't Queens in Romford in your patch? Thats pretty new and shiny.. at the moment!I meant to post this before. This week I had my first contact with LAS when someone collapsed in our office. A solo responder was very near by (being a psychiaric hospital next door to a general hospital) and got there in amazing time, and the two EMT's were fantastic. Unfortnately, my colleaguue didn't make it, but thanks to the most amazing first aider in our office, and LAS, her family were given time to say their goodbyes. In very difficult circumstances, they were true professionals. Thankyou..

  7. A} the Romans were quicker in their chariots , of course they used knives on the axles to keep the hoi poloi from creatin' problems .B} Cadbury's be my dose of the day, Godiva is for those that want to travel in the buff.As I can only afford a nickel a day. so I get a nickels worth of cacao a day.There was a time when a 4 OZ bar, w/should last a month.and then there those would wait hours to get a couple of bars when the rationing came off.Now it be a plenty they want the foreign stuff, Oh ! well!.Nice to have money.

  8. Nah.If I could only have 1 worth of chocolate per month, and I had to choose between 1 of Cadburys (about 100g?) or 1 of proper chocolate as above (about 40g), I would take the proper chocolate and make it last.

    In fact, usually the proper chocolate does last longer, simply because I only need to eat a very little piece to feel satisfied.

  9. batsgirl, I'm not sure whether your self-control should impress me or worry me…70% cocoa is the best, but if I'm on rations then Cadburys plain will do very nicely thanks…

  10. There's definitely some sort of dose/ratio thing with chocolate. Even so, I find the higher quality stuff works out cheaper, for my own preference anyway.4 squares of Green & Black's 85% will do me for a day (I make that 12p a day @ 1.69/bar), or 12 squares of their milk chocolate (33p) or a whole Galaxy Ripple – about twice the weight – +/- 50p, depending on the retailer.

    Meanwhile, Thornton's chocolates are vastly overrated IMO, and 2 – 3 dark chocolates out of one of their boxes is enough to make me want to heave.

  11. I used to have six squares of Green&Black's Maya Gold a day. Mmmm.Strangely, over Christmas I didn't have that much chocolate, although I totally made up with it by getting birthday cake (well, giant chocolate brownie really) from here. Hooboy.

  12. Definitely, I agree!!A dog can die from eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

    So naturally when there is chocolate in the house, in order that my 'pup' doesn't get harmed I am obliged by a loving and devoted duty to her to scoff it all ! And fast !! Oh hardships!

    For info : My chocolate must be relatively cold and must CRUNCH when I bite into it. I have a friend who must put square by square in her mouth followed by a mouthful of tea to melt it before swallowing !

    Yuk, not me. I'm a cruncher. (Preferably followed by a glass of “nice cold, ice cold, milk …”)

  13. Our dog (a cocker spaniel, so not massive) managed to get hold of and gnaw his way through a bar of 70% stuff, much panic ensued, but in the end there was nothing wrong with him and the vet said on the phone that as he wasn't showing any abnormal signs he'd be fine…Still probably not a good idea to feed chocolate to dogs though – if nothing else I doubt they really appreciate the taste…

  14. Theobromine is your search term if your poochie has got some chocolate, it causes some UGLY poos in my dog, who has stolen the odd illicit bit, and according to the vet. lit. it can cause all sorts of problems, some of which you can reverse if they show symptoms… others may get away lightly – just like with humans and drugs.Worth a google though, and also avoid raisins and onions with dogs, look it up, know your enemy!

  15. I think it's worth clarifying that I wasn't actually intentionally feeding it to the dog. I'd opened a bar and broken it all up into bits to share, and then got called through to another room so I left it on the coffee table, and when we came back the wrapper was on the floor and the dog was excitable.The dog owner called the vet who basically said “Cadburys? Never mind then.”

  16. Galaxy is probably the best! xPNice blog Tom, enjoyed reading it – I'm interested in becoming an Ambulance Technician myself.

  17. Surely the hospital-postcode-lottery shouldn't be surprising.I have to admit I live in South Ken and my daughter was born in the Chelsea & Westminster hosp. I truly think it's one of the best in the country although once my husband was taken to St. Thomas' and I found the staff there incredibly nice and professional.

    I work in the City and a few years ago I broke my ankle stumbling down a staircase. I was taken to the Royal London and I have to say I was shocked. I think the people working there were really top but the whole athmosphere and what was going on in the waiting room made me physically sick. Patients there were abusive, shouting, arguing with each other and wasting nursing staff's time with their trivial complaints.

    Additional to that I lived in Austria for several years and know what it's like in other European countries.

    What's going on in London regarding NHS facilities and services is disgraceful, it's the same with GPs. Go to one in the East End and afterwards pop down the surgery in Putney (SW) for example, the difference is incredible, but then: different borough different taxes. More wealthy people = more contributions and also they expect something for all the NI money that's taken from their salaries month by month. I'm one of the “lucky” ones which means 40%(!) of my earnings I see going into our lovely (cranky) state system of equal-rights-service and the NHS.

    If you see what health service you can get in other parts of Europe (e.g. Germany, Holland and Scandinavia) you wouldn't believe it, but if you don't know better.. what's the problem 😉

  18. My dog eats dirty undies, even hunts them out – my laundry is more secured than my chequebook!So I know only too well that “what dog eats” is not “what owner feeds him”!!

  19. If you think RLH is bad, wait til you see Newham General. I have to say, from my experience (apologies to Tom and NHS colleagues in advance) the place needs pulling down.The wards were filthy. Absolutley filthy. Under the beds had never seem a mop at all and the walls were splattered with blood and other bodily fluids.

    The people were ok, but clearly overworked and undermotivated. It was clearly a shame, but they had no idea how to deal with my illness (they had already sent me home twice to take paracetamol before I called the ambulance). I was so glad when they admitted defeat and transfered me to a far cleaner hospital in North London.

    It's a real shame that this happens, and that a management structure can get so far out of control that situations like this occur, but it's a fact that there is a marked difference in the performance of organisations with essentially the same goal. As consumers, sorry patients, we hold the purse strings. And I know exactly where I choose to spend my taxes.

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