It Says ‘London’ On The Side

After much deep consideration and thought trial and error, I’ve managed to get the Talkr link for individual posts working.  This will let you hear my posts without having to subscribe to the Talkr RSS feed.

St Mary's Hospital 'Welcome' mat.Last night was a bit strange, which for a change had nothing to do with the patients I was seeing.

Newham hospital was packed to the gills with patients, there were no beds available in the hospital, so a lot of my workmates ended up transferring patients from Newham to other hospitals around the area.  At one point it got so bad that for two hours Newham ‘diverted’, or closed to non-‘blue light’ ambulance jobs.  Hospitals don’t like doing this as they tend to be fined for restricting their services, but when the situation is dangerous it’s actually in the best interests of the patients.

But my crewmate and I had to be that little bit different.

We had managed to return to station for three minutes when the phone went.  Control wanted us to transfer a patient from a hospital out of our area to another hospital on the other side of London.  We were told that there we no ambulances available in the originating hospitals sector.

The patient was a young lady who may have been in premature labour at 30 weeks pregnancy.  The nearest SCBU (Specialist Care Baby Unit) with an empty bed was in Hammersmith.  Hammersmith is on the other side of London.  I suppose we should have counted ourselves lucky that it wasn’t in Brighton.

So I drove through our sector, into another sector to pick up the patient and the midwife.  We then drove 30 miles through the centre of London to get her to Hammersmith hospital.  I don’t drive through London very often – I don’t need to, London Underground is cheaper and easier than trying to find a parking space.  Thankfully all our ambulances now have GPS navigation systems installed – so it’s a (simple) case of following the arrows on the little navigation screen and avoiding the cars that insist on trying to crash into you.  I have a strange feeling of pride that I managed to find the hospital without getting lost or crashing.  I then cruised around the hospital looking for the maternity entrance, and managed to find it by sheer luck and good fortune.

The hospital itself was completely different to the hospitals in our area – it was clean, it had comfy chairs, and the doctor who met the patient at the hospital showed us the staff kitchen so we could get a cup of tea.

The only thing the same as the hospitals ‘back home’, was the angry glare from the midwife as we entered the unit.

On our way back to Newham we managed to get a job.

“Aha!”, we thought, “This might be an interesting job”.

But no – it was exactly the same sort of patient/job that we get in Newham.  An elderly Bangladeshi gentleman with all over body ache and a heavy head.

Still – he was a very pleasant man so we didn’t mind.

This patient went to St Mary’s hospital by request, and I’ll admit that on my first attempt at getting him to the hospital I drove past the obviously well-hidden entrance ramp.  So I had to enter the one-way system, adding an extra mile on our journey.  The picture in this post is of St Mary’s ‘welcome mat’.  You don’t get welcome mats at Newham.  At Newham you have to force open the ambulance bay doors…

Then we managed to get back to Newham, where we had an hour to relax on station before the morning crew turned up and sent us home.

14 thoughts on “It Says ‘London’ On The Side”

  1. Well done on the Talker thing, now I can ipod your posts in the car, brillient. – its not bad actually.I will be in school (uni) with a shirt on tomorrow as the press are coming to observe us, we have a new (one week old) building and every room has interactive white boards you see. What we wont be telling them is that since the plans were made (and the building erected) we have increased our intake numbers and began offering new courses to post-reg students, as well as a new Paramedic Diploma. So we will be digging up the freshly laid flowerbeds for an extention soon!

  2. “Hospitals dont like doing this as they tend to be fined for restricting their services,”Tell that to the hospitals near Anytown, they divert if they've got someone sneezing in the A&E.

    Must make four hour trolley wait!

    Must make four hour trolley wait!

    Must make four hour trolley wait!

    Must make four hour trolley wait!

  3. G'day reynoldsDo you know the specifications of the GPS navigation system you guys use? MAS here in suuny Melbourne are trialling a couple of nav systems at the moment but word is the struggle to keep up with lights and sirens driving

    cheers, Andrew

  4. Well done on the talkr thingammy – slightly srreal at frst, it is actually pretty amazing when you considr what it is doing.

  5. I'm guessing that Anytown hospital has a pretty good budget – or accountants who have worked out how many diverts they can have before the cost/benefit ratio starts working against them.Because – if you make your four hour waits, then you get more money.

    You wouldn't want to fund a failing service would you…

  6. Hi jeanniecool, I'm guessing London midwives have the same opinion of London paramedics, as Australian midwives do of Aussie paramedics; they don't like them… The angry glare, the dismissive wave of the hand, and the rapid assessment of the baby we have just delivered followed by the accusation, “You let the baby get cold” I am generalising but do live in hope of a warm reception on arrival at a birthing suite

  7. The Talkr chick sound 'Ded Sexy' if you don't mind me saying…I particularly enjoyed 'The nearest SCBU'..

    Why does she have such a problem saying Newham though?

  8. Well, having worked at Newham, including spending far too much time to be considered healthy in Paeds A&E, most of which forcing said doors, and now working at St Marys – I have to say, in some sick way I kinda miss the door forcing. Odd, huh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *