Monday, 9 December 2013

The road to Mandeville is strewn with sick

It's a major boob when people involved in a car accident at the entrance of Wycombe hospital are forced to travel 45-minutes to their nearest A&E for treatment.

Wycombe has a population in excess of 133,000 and yet for some ludicrous reason the decision was taken to shut our A&E two years ago.     

This means anyone injured or seriously ill must be transported by ambulance or car to Wexham Park Hospital in Slough or Stoke Mandeville – both a toe curling, over hill and dale, 45-minutes away.
Official NHS statistics show that dispensing with our A&E has increased the number of people waiting for treatment for over four hours by five times at both Wexham and Stoke Mandeville hospital.
Perhaps even more scary (and as yet to be documented – surprise!) is the inevitable rise in deaths and babies born in lay-bys that the closure has undoubtedly caused.
Road to Hell
Last month my partner developed a kidney stone.  His second one this year, I am familiar with the routine.  
It starts with vigorous back rubbing, followed by some moves like Jagger then the cushion-biting death throws kick in.  
I realised that my plan to drop my daughter at nursery before hot footing him over to Stoke Mandeville was dashed when Jagger put in an early appearance.

Ushering Matt and my four-year old daughter into the car I started the long, winding journey to Stoke Mandeville in morning rush hour.
We weren't even clear of Prestwood when the guttural man-screaming started.
Trying to save my daughter post-traumatic stress therapy I tried to reassure her that Daddy just 'had a tummy bug' and cranked the volume of 100 giggly wriggly toddler songs as loud as it would go.

Approaching the main roundabout in Great Missenden the vomiting started.
Overcome with pain (kidney stones are the male equivalent of giving birth apparently *raises eyebrow* - but that’s another blog) Matt started to throw up out of the passenger window.

The first round exploded onto a sulk of schoolchildren waiting for their bus. The second lot - and if this is you, I can only apologise – hit a cyclist head on - all to the cheery strains of ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’.     
When we finally arrived at Stoke Mandeville I abandoned my sick-soaked partner at the entrance to deliver my daughter (albeit with a five-mile stare) to nursery.

Later that morning I then made the journey again to collect a much more subdued Matt from A&E.
Rambling from the effects of Tramadol, Matt muttered something about being called back in for a scan but that it was likely to be sometime in the next 48 hours.
Sure enough as soon as we arrived home in High Wycombe there was a message from the hospital asking Matt to come back for his scan. That was journey number three.
Annoying? Yes (especially if you're in tremendous pain or a passer-by being sicked on). Life-threatening? No. 
But what of those poor Wycombe folk critically injured, seriously ill or in labour? What happens then? A 45-minute journey is simply too long.

Any fool can see that shuttling patients cross-country won't cut costs (hello - fuel!?) or help a patient’s outcome – at best they might throw up on pedestrians, at worse, they might not make it at all.
Something needs to be done.
What do you think? 

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