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A manic hospital day!

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,153
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

A manic hospital day!

First let me say, I have nothing but the highest regard and esteem for those at the sharp end of all parts NHS particularly the ambulance service, those who actually hands-on care for patients. I have somewhat differing views for the management and waste at the other end of the organisation.
I will not delve too deeply into the reasons for yesterday emergency call for an ambulance, just suffice to say that it was thought that Mrs P may have suffered a fractured hip or pelvis and was in great pain.
We live more or less in the middle of a triangle of hospitals/ambulance stations: St Albans, Hemel Hempstead or Watford. In this we are lucky as emergency calls (we've had several) are responded to very quickly, so it came as no surprise that the ambulance that quickly arrived was a Hemel crew.
From whichever station that starts the process we are always taken to Watford general hospital. No problem there, Watford had once a dreadful reputation (not from me, we never had a problem with it) but has I'm told improved no end over the last few years.
So from around midday on a Sunday lunch time one might expect that a fairly quiet time would be being enjoyed in Watford A&E...not this Sunday!! no fewer than 3 other elderly ladies had been brought in for hip fracture suspicions at almost the same time, one or two pub injuries and a couple of other assorted injuries were in by ambulance, normal walking wounded traffic was also unusually busy, producing one of the most manic days in Watford A&E history.
No beds were available in the hospital.
We were queued 5th in the queue in the corridor with triage, treatment x-rays etc taking around an hour to move forward one place in the queue.
What I didn't realise was, that the ambulance crew are not allowed to leave the inbound patient until they have been handed over for treatment. This resulted in every single Watford based ambulance crew, two from Hemel and another two from St Albans standing and sitting around A&E like spare parts at a wedding to their intense frustration, there were almost as many ambulance crews in the area as there were patients and medical staff. It was quite obvious that Watford A&E was struggling under the pressure.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why some complain about very slow reaction of emergency calls.
This has not changed one iota my admiration for the ambulance service, only my doubts about some of its procedures.
Oh yes, Mrs P was Ok, it was tendon/ligament pain (and still is)
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
22 REPLIES
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Firstly I'm glad that Mrs P wasn't too badly injured.
Not had any dealings with A&E at Vicarage Road, only maternity where our daughter was born.
Hadn't really thought before about the hand over procedure as one normally takes it for granted. I know that they have to pass on their notes and observations.
Good job there wasn't a major disaster in the area although I suppose that, then, ambulance crews would have to be released.
thisoldman
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Registered: 06-04-2009

Re: A manic hospital day!

regards to mrs p
geoffp0
Grafter
Posts: 185
Registered: 02-03-2011

Re: A manic hospital day!

What can one say! anyway glad to hear that Mrs P is ok tell her she will have to give up kick boxing for a hobby Grin
Geoff
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Sorry to hear about Mrs.P but pleased it wasn't as serious as first thought.  I hope she has a speedy recovery.
It does seem stupid to tie up the ambulance crews in such a way.  Is it worth taking this up with the NHS/Ambulance service or asking your MP to do so?
I remember some years ago when the A&E had a 4 hour target to deal with patients.  At John Radcliffe the hospital wouldn't take patients from ambulances until they were able to treat them so a long line of vehicles had to queue outside the department until allowed to deposit the occupant. Other emergency calls were put at risk because of the shortage of ambulances to respond.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,153
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Quote from: nadger
Good job there wasn't a major disaster in the area although I suppose that, then, ambulance crews would have to be released.

Quite right, as I think you know nadger, it is not only a triangle of hospitals it is a triangle of motorways with the M1, M10, M25 forming an almost identical triangle with the major A41 nearby, the A1M not far away. It is by no means unusual to have major traffic emergencies on any two of them at the same time.
Watford hospital is also located (for those who don't know) right next door to Watford football ground, which can cause serious problems for emergency ambulances on match days.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,153
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

@artmo, indeed Mrs P was one of several to be being "watched" for the 4 hour to treatment time. Total time in the hospital yesterday was 6.5 hours, however they just made it with minutes to spare for the first contact 4 hours, and my have queue jumped to achieve it  (including walking wounded out of our sight in another waiting area)
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
nadger
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Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

@Petlew - one could look out of maternity ward windows and watch Watford play.
M10 - showing your age as it's no longer a motorway  Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,547
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Quote from: nadger
M10 - showing your age as it's no longer a motorway  Wink

Oh!!  What happened to it?
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Still there but downgraded to A414.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,547
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

I used to use it a lot but not been up that way for many years.
pierre_pierre
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Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

google dosnt think so  nor does the current Ordnance Survey
Moderator
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Glad to hear Mrs P's problem was not as serious as first thought and wish her a speedy recovery.
I didn't know about the hand-over procedure as I don't use the medical profession but it does seem crazy to tie up such a valuable resource in this way.
Surely if the doctors required further information from the ambulance crew there are others means of communication.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 18,547
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Quote from: Petlew
From whichever station that starts the process we are always taken to Watford general hospital. No problem there, Watford had once a dreadful reputation (not from me, we never had a problem with it) but has I'm told improved no end over the last few years.

Are you able to ask to be taken to a specific hospital?  Where I live we have 2 nearby local hospitals and some patients prefer one to the other and the ambulance service is often accommodating.  
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,153
Thanks: 54
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: A manic hospital day!

Although its quite close I also haven't used the M10 for a while either. Unless there's more of it elsewhere in the country I refer only to that short link stretch between the M1 and A414 St Albans roundabout. Since the widening of the M1 in that immediate area I thought it was still the M10 but, I stand to be corrected here.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.