The High Quarterly

Empathising with our E.D doctors... 26/01/2017

A recent trip to the foreboding, grey box that is the local hospital provided me with an interesting scope on an issue that has been all over the news since what seems like 2007 ( and no for people like me who still think that was three years ago, it is ten. How is that possible?) I divulge, back on topic. Upon my somewhat joyous exit from the hospital, mu jaunty stride was curbed. Eight emergency ambulances parked up along the entrance to A&E. Not just one, or two: eight. All of which were empty of both paramedics and patients, thus leading to my assumption of their wait to hand patients over to emergency physicians inside the department. That was eight patients that doctors couldn't see. Eight teams of paramedics that weren't out helping others who needed it. One more time- eight. 


24 hours later, I found myself throwing a hissy fit at the television whilst watching BBC Two documentary 'Hospital'. Scenes aired showed that a particular hospital trust in London started off it's day with no beds. In the entire trust, there were no beds. Surgeons couldn't start their procedures, ambulances were backed up, and both ITU and HDC wards were full. I found myself quite emotionally attached to one patient whom the programme followed, and was throwing things at the television in frustration when a procedure scheduled for him couldn't take place as there was no ITU bed for him to recover in. I'll hand it to BBC Two- well played with that one- takes quite a lot to get me that worked up, I'll be honest.



My conclusion to the events of those 48 hours - something has got to change. As we are being honest, I don't know what. I will say this however; making GP's scapegoats for this is not the answer. The system as we know it worked twenty years ago, very well, but with evolving times, systems have to evolve also. But with the hellish new contracts imposed on our junior doctors,  and their wages falling quicker than numbers of  New Year gym goers, and patient numbers growing exponentially; someone has to ask- how long can this go on for? My bets are on the ' not very long' option. I'll reiterate what I mentioned previously. Something has got to change. I don't know what, but something has got to change. 





Emily Smith


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