Remember I was telling you about the new function on our display terminals in the vehicles, the one that counst how long you have been at hospital? This is a picture that my crewmate took while I was away playing on the FRU the other day. It shows that she was waiting to hand over their patient for two hours.
It's been crazy the last few days – we leave the station at the start of our shift to attend to a patient who has been waiting for us to start work. Then we spend the rest of the day out, running from patient to patient. While doing my paperwork at hospital or on the way to a patient all I've heard is our dispatchers doing 'general broadcasts' to see if there are any ambulances available to attend to the 'many emergency calls across the sector'.
It's not even your usual winter pressures – I'm yet to see much of the traditional winter illnesses. It's not like there is a sudden increase in 'flu' cases, there hasn't been an outbreak of Norovirus. It's been the usual run of people with chest pains, old people collapsed, drunks, abdominal pains – all the usual stuff, just much more of it.
I was speaking to a hospital site manager the other day, she agreed that there isn't any apparent reason for the increase in people coming to hospital. It's the normal stuff, just more of it.
So we have been waiting at the hospitals, which have been filling up with patients – this means that patients have been waiting for ambulances.
Which was why an lovely old fella was waiting for an ambulance for an hour on the floor of a shop with a broken hip.
Then he had to wait for two hours on an ambulance trolley in order to be handed over to the hospital.
I can't see a solution to this – there will always be periods where more people need emergency healthcare. While I think that we should have more ambulances – this isn't a solution to these short term increases in demand.
Hopefully it'll be better in a few days.
I was spoken to by a reporter from 'The People' newspaper in order to get my comments on the winter pressures. I explained that, as an organisation, we have a pretty good process in place to deal with the demand. As pressure increases we do various things to increase the number of ambulances on the road. Overtime also becomes available – which is nice for us poorly paid people.
The strange thing is that the day after the People article (by Tom Carlin) is published, an very similar article is front page news in the Daily Express. This article is by Mark Reynolds, and contains the same quotes (and a fair bit of the same sentences). Except that they misattribute comments from a nurse as comments from me.
Isn't this plagarism? Or just the 'echo chamber' that blogs are often accused of being.
Finally – I managed to persuade my brother to buy himself a Macbook Pro (better than my Macbook, the swine! The next person to say that teachers are paid rubbish will get a severe talking to from me). It was a right struggle to get him to open his wallet – but he's now really rather glad that he did. It especially made an impact as to how easy it was to set the Mac up with his home network as opposed to the swearing I was doing trying to get his Vista machine to work.
Does anyone have any 'killer apps' that they would like to suggest? He's impressed with the ease of Handbrake and iSquint to get video ready for his iPhone. I've already got him admitting that Quicksilver is 'greased loveliness' and he has Delicious library installed but I'd love to hear what other people are using.