Thoughts On Saturday - The NHS and Thundersnow
Many of you know that I am a retired nurse, I was a theatre sister for over 30 years, so the NHS is close to my heart. One of the reasons that I retired was the amount of paperwork that I was expected to do. More paper, more numbers and less about patients. I understand that the government needs figures because they have set targets and these need to be measured. I was saddened to see two headlines this week.
The first that the Red Cross had declared the NHS an humanitarian crisis and secondly that there had been major alerts at many hospitals. A&E departments were overwhelmed due to the lack of available beds and the amount of people attending.
Not surprisingly these two reports are linked. I didn't know that the Red Cross is called in to help the NHS when they reach a crisis and need help. The Red Cross helped get people home, by providing transport and settling them back in. This frees beds for those waiting in A&E. The signal that sets this in motion is the A&E target of getting people seen and through the department in less than four hours. Like all things in the NHS it is never one thing or one departments fault when it all fails to work.
If patients cannot leave hospital and go home then there comes a point when no more patients can be admitted. This puts pressure on everyone but A&E departments are at the front line. There are winter pressures that never seemed to stop and give relief in the summer. Wards are closed due to contagious illnesses such as flu or norovirus. Routine operations are cancelled. The very public image of ambulances queueing at A&E hide the hidden misery of people suffering because their operations are cancelled and the knock on effect that waiting times become longer and longer.
I do not know the answers. Not having easy access to a General Practitioner (GP) and people not being able to go home because they need care are two of the main problems. Reducing the numbers using A&E as an alternative to their GP and getting people out quickly would reduce the pressures on the NHS. Lets hope the government really does care and doesn't just use a sticking plaster when major intervention is needed.
I wanted a little snow. Just a little of the nice stuff, big fat flakes that flutter down and make everything pretty. Enough for a snowman but not enough to disrupt transport or schools. This didn't happen for me and for lots of people. I live in Cardiff we have the Gulf stream to keep our Winters a little warmer but wetter. Others were warned of Thundersnow. As I understand it, Thundersnow is a storm with snow instead of rain and it is rare in Britain. It must be, I'd never heard of it before.
Some had snow but worse was the threat of flooding on the Eastern coast. Towns and villages were evacuated, and people were in fear of their lives and homes.
Some were brave? Reckless? and stayed behind. The high tide with the winds to make it flood are due at midnight Friday, fingers crossed the weather forecasts were wrong and all are OK when we get up Saturday morning.
Did you get snow? I'm still hoping for some, just a little.
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