Don’t do anything that might see you ending up in A&E
That sage advice was given me by my nearest and dearest. But first let me backtrack and explain …
Today, I sadly noted my concern picked up by the BBC: “Pressure on the NHS is unsustainable, medics warn”, which began: “Pressure on the NHS is “intolerable and unsustainable”, according to the British Medical Association (BMA) which represents doctors … has called on the government to “step up and take immediate action” to solve the crisis. Hospitals are facing soaring demands, which experts believe is in part driven by winter illnesses like flu and Covid. The government said it recognised the pressures faced by the NHS. A number of hospitals have declared critical incidents in recent days, meaning they cannot function as usual due to extraordinary pressure …”
I posted the link to the report on my Facebook page earlier today and one comment by a friend, knowing my right leaning political views, was: “it is really interesting when both most conservative and my most left-wing Facebook friends share this post and are concerned about the awful situation in the NHS”. It didn’t need the BMA to point out something that is obvious to anyone who cares to look. When I do my daily visit to our local hospital these days to pick up afore-mentioned dearest from work there is invariably a queue of ambulances waiting with patient for A&E to free up a slot. I have lost count of the number of stories from people I know, waiting several hours to be seen by A&E. While philosophical and understanding of the pressures staff faced, and appreciative of the care when it did come, it was not a nice experience.
These observations were confirmed by our local newspaper: “Southend and Basildon Hospital handover times under fire“, which begins: “We hear the horror stories every day – patients “stuck” in ambulances just yards from A&E because the pressure on our creaking NHS is so great …” I was reluctant to post on this subject, firstly because I didn’t want to draw attention to said dearest whose advice, in the circumstances, seems to me to be perfectly reasonable and, secondly, besides agreeing, despite there being some amazing, dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff, our NHS is nearing crisis point (not unrelated is the difficulty to actually get seen by one’s doctor or lack of alternatives to visiting the nearest accident and emergency facility when the need arises) and, for once, I don’t have a solution other than to add my two penneth that we have a serious problem that needs attention.