We'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…