Le Chat Est Hors Du Sac

The cat is indeed, out of the bag. Ambulance personnel across the Complex know that I blog, they worked out my nom-de-plume (the only 'falsehood' on this site) mainly because of a picture or two of myself I have on the site. So far the response has been along the lines of “You want to take that picture down, you look like you've just escaped from the Day Hospital”, and someone wrote a vaguely negative comment in my last post, to which a tonne of very nice people leapt to my defence.
I figured it would happen at some point – a few people knew about it a while ago, but kept it their little secret, so I have been prepared for this day. I've actually been prepared for it since I started posting about my ambulance work, so very little, if anything will change on this site.

  • I've added a little “these views are mine alone, not those of the LAS” to the intro over on the right of the page – it's always been implicit, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to make it explicit.
  • I've always maintained confidentiality, both of patients and of staff, trusts don't normally get that privilege because they need to be held accountable for the things they do. I've deleted one post that could have possibly identified a member of staff – it wasn't an important post, but I thought that it came too close to crossing the line that I have set myself.
  • I'm convinced that this blog shows the LAS, and the NHS in a generally good light – I do tend to fixate on the negative side of things, so I may try to be a bit more upbeat in the future in order to provide a bit of balance. This promise may be unlikely to be kept…
  • I don't think that “Da Firm” is going to try and make me stop blogging, if only because they tolerate the “Big White Taxi Service” website and forum, and I believe that there is some subtle use of that site and forum to understand exactly what the road-crews think of various issues. I have at least one very smart person who has volunteered to defend my blogging should management try to stop me. Although if they did try to stop me, I'd blog about it, and I think it would greatly increase my page hits…
  • I'm going to keep writing under the name Tom Reynolds, I'm kind of used to it, and people know me by that name anyway. Tom is my middle name and I prefer it to my actual forename. And my mum will hate me for saying that…
  • I fully expect to be called a wanker by some people in the service – but I would imagine that those would be the people who haven't actually read this site, and were just hearing rumours about it. That and I am fairly thick-skinned. My crew-mate knows about the site, although I don't think that he has read it himself, but he is supportive of my writing. I'll soon let you know if I get called into the office though…
  • For the next seven days, I am working shifts from 16:00 to midnight, and as an exercise I shall be keeping a tally of people who's illness or injury is caused by alcohol. On these shifts it is often half our calls that are related in some way to drink, and by publicly keeping count, I fully expect the universe to toy with me and make sure that none of my patients are drunk – so that I look like an idiot.

    But I doubt it.

    15 thoughts on “Le Chat Est Hors Du Sac”

    1. Hmm, interesting. You never know how management will react. I myself was censored after posting various pictures of offshore rigs.

    2. Yep, interesting…But I'm curious, why is taking pictures of oil rigs a bad thing? I mean it's not like they are a secret or anything.

      Hold up…let me guess…

      Terrorism?

    3. Reynolds,From one anonymous NHS blogger to another – make sure you keep us up to date with how people react to it. Having survived my interview with the Guardian without being found out I think I am safe but you never know.

      Its the one thing that keeps me awake at night thinking what would happen if someone found out who I was and what i was saying about them.

      This 'very smart person' may have a lot of work come their way should Mr T, JT and myself ever get found out.

      Dre.

    4. From all that I have read of your blog, and may I add, I did go back quite a way, that your views aren't damaging to the NHS but just show how little people realise they abouse the ambulance service. I think you guys do a great job and are always polite ( In my experiences)Keep up the good work peeps, because I'd hate to think what this world would come to if you stopped caring……

      Liz

    5. I can't see how they can sack you for having an opinion about working practises. If they can't handle having the more bizarre aspects of the job thrown open for comment then they're the ones who should be out of a job, not you. I hope things work out for you…

    6. I would like to publicly state that should you get hauled up in front of anyone, I would be happy to come along and explain to your bosses what blogs are all about, what the rammifications of various courses of action are, and to mediate in any discussions over an acceptible blogging policy.If anyone else has problems with this sort of thing, please contact me on suw.charman@gmail.com and I would be happy to chat about it all.

    7. I've always thought that you offer a balanced view. Most people know that there are sections of the general public that abuse the ambulance service and many people also have their own experiences with the NHS. You're hardly giving away trade secrets just letting us see it all from your point of view.Keep it up – I love reading about your experiences.

      rhea_ramblings.blogspot.com

    8. Truth vs saving of face [Rear end[lower end of lumbar region vs upper end of same] being already plastered up], truth, it be like a photo, it be from whose or which angle. nutin worse than a supervisor, embarrased by 'is own **** ups [snafu's] so if ye can, don't embarrass ones pay master [or he that signs ye time card], 'tis the rule of civil cervice, facts nutin but the facts. dungbeetle. .

    9. One name or the other, it doesn't matter much to most of us. It's the content we're after. Having gone round and round on the topic with my boss already and (much to his annoyance) coming out on top I wouldn't be too worried.BTW, some of us were bored enough to figure out your secret identity a while ago. You just need to know where to look.

    10. Your postings are often highly educational. I, for one, value the services of LAS more so as a result.Loads of people at my workplace know about my journal. But it represents no issues at all for me – as it is not primarily about my work or my employer. But where my “work” and my “interests” converge – I would have no hesitation about posting. My employer does not “own” my “interests” – they benefit from it.

      In a similar way – your work “crosses over” into your interests – and it motivates you enought to write about it – and share it with people like me – who are not here because of your employer. Hence – your employer cannot claim ownership of your interests. But your employer can surely only benefit from them – in more ways that one.

    11. I know this post was a little while ago, and I don't know if anyone will ever see this one, but I felt I had to say something..(The reason for the late posting is that I've spent the weekend reading through the entire archives, having come across this Blog in the BBC News Online article last week…)

      Anyway, I want to express my fullest support for what you're doing. My contact with your profession has been limited to the student view (not getting picked up – a lot of my good friends at uni were (still are, actually) medical students (in Bristol)

      I've never had cause to travel in an ambulance, or meet a member of an ambulance crew (except for a friend's brother, who I've met very briefly). Having read your blog over the past few days, I can safely say that my attitude in the event of calling out an ambulance would, I believe, be different. Having this kind of insight into the people behind the flashing lights, in a situation that you know is real, really makes a difference. A film like Bringing Out The Dead, (which is, I believe, a fantastic film), doesn't quite have the same impact.

      Also, if I ever have need to phone an ambulance, I hope that I would take a second to properly think about whether it is the best thing to do…..

      anyway, thanks for a fantastic blog – you've given me a lot to think about, and I will certainly be a regular visitor here!

      Hugh Macdonald

    12. wow – that was quick!Soon I'll have caught up, and I'll be posting comments that don't seem 2 months late

      Hugh Macdonald

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