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.
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.