Million Step Challenge Week 6 - Find out why it was a difficult week. You never know when things will take a turn for the worst
Thanks to the NHS displayed on the pitch at CUFC April 2020
You will see in my steps diary this week that the number of steps have dropped off as I had not been feeling very well for several days but what I did not expect was to be taken in to Addenbrookes Hospital by ambulance in the early hours of Monday morning which incidentally was the day of my mother’s funeral that I did not get to attend.
Anyway I have never taken interest in politics in any form but having had a very traumatic 48 hours in hospital I thought I would include it in my million step diary for this week in the hope that a politician may read it at some point.
Now having worked at Cambridge United FC with staff from the NHS, Doctors, Paramedics, porters etc on match days for over 30 years I have listened time after time to the stories of being short staffed, long hours worked etc and I was aware of what amazing work they do but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed during my time in Addenbrookes.
I went to bed Sunday evening not feeling that great and was unable to sleep and during the early hours of Monday morning I was in a great deal of stomach pain which increased to the point that I knew I was in trouble and just after 4am my wife Lisa had to call for an ambulance and having witnessed ambulance delays in the past at CUFC I was not surprised that it did not arrive that quickly as I know they are always flat out and in demand. Lisa made a second call as my health deteriorated further and I had collapsed and following the second call the ambulance arrived very quickly. The two young paramedics checked me over including checking for a heart attack as I had passed - out and been very sweaty and in a great deal of pain. They made the decision to transport me to Addenbrookes , I was feeling very unwell and started receiving pain killers and anti-sickness drugs immediately. The care they gave was incredible and on arrival at hospital there was a discussion as to where I would be taken were there any cubicles in A & E etc. anyway I was placed in a cubicle outside the doctors /nurse station . I was swabbed quickly for MRSA and tested for covid .
I had only been in A & E a short while when I had another attack come on and could feel myself passing out again I called for help and the staff rushed to my aid and again all the kit was stuck over me to check for a heart condition, the sweat was pouring off me I was in extreme pain and I can honestly say that it was as ill as I have every felt in my lifetime.
The doctors then took me through to the Resus unit where I spent several hours having been put on a drip being pumped full of morphine , anti-sickness drug etc but I was still being ill .
Discussions took place about my condition having recently had diverticulitis and having been on antibiotics the week before. The staff then arranged for me to have an emergency CT scan followed by a second scan. I was then returned to the Resus department and again the treatment I received was outstanding. The decision was made to give me another dose of antibiotics intravenously but within just 20 minutes I had an allergic reaction and was covered in a rash from head to toe, more quick treatment followed to prevent the reaction getting worse and within an hour this was under control and had calmed down although I was still being sick and bad.
I was still in intense pain in the abdomen areas and was given yet more morphine and then at long last the pain eased I cannot thank the staff enough for what they did for me.
It was after a few more hours that I was transferred back to A & E when I caught up with the staff who had first treated me. I spoke to one of the nurses at length and said at one point I thought my time was up. She replied yes you did look very poorly we were worried you were having a heart attack and you went some strange colours.
Now I am used to working 12-14 hour days myself at CUFC and it is tiring but If I get something wrong or forget to do something worst that would happen is something may get left unlocked or a machine not get put away ,these staff simply do not stop and often do not get the break they deserve and I heard one nurse say she had been trying to get time to go to the loo for an hour and god only knows how they keep going and they are responsible for people’s lives every minute of their working day.
It was whilst I was in A & E waiting to be transferred to the ward that I my attention was drawn back to the million step challenge I am undertaking as a young girl was brought in by paramedics and again the care she received was so caring. The young girls phone rang and she was talking and I over heard her say she had been self-harming again and that she wanted to talk to somebody but did not know who to talk to. This is why SHOUT 85258 is so important.
The staff were keen to get me moved to the ward to free up the bay but there was a shortage of porters on duty and also a shortage of trollies. I should also mention the catering staff team who again work tirelessly with the demands put on them and were so friendly and accommodating with patient’s needs.
I finally arrived on ward A3 at around 1.30am and again the staff on the ward were simply amazing.
Due to my position as the match day safety officer and Stadium Manager at Cambridge United for 40 years I have had to write hundreds of risk assessments and method statements but can honestly say that I would not know where to start to support all the staff from top to bottom at Addenbrookes Hospital and would have very strong concerns about their mental health and think some staff must suffer from burn out but will direct my frustration at the government and politicians for the way the staff are treated and expected to work and the work load has clearly increased so much more with the covid situation but simple things like having the basic effective essentials would help.
How’s this for an example? The disposable plastic aprons the staff have to wear have been changed to what the staff believe is a cheaper version but consider this. The staff are generally working at speed and need this equipment to be efficient and effective but more often than not the aprons are pulled off the roll only to be thrown in the bin as they don’t tear off clean and cannot be worn. So is that cost effective? Unlikely? whilst also taking up time to get to patients which in some cases have life threatening conditions and I witnessed the frustration on the faces of staff again and again over something that could be sorted so easily.
It would be easy for me to say what the politicians say on national TV about the NHS staff along the lines of what a great job they do but is that just lip service they pay because that is what they think people want to hear after they have put in a flying visit to a hospital for publicity reasons.
Ladies and gentlemen in the Government here is a suggestion that I think you all should undertake.
Firstly read the book THIS IS GOING TO HURT secret diary of a junior doctor by Adam Kay as I did a few weeks ago and to be honest I thought some of the stories in it were farfetched but let me tell you from my own experience I now know they were true
Come on MP’s rather than carry out a flying visit to a hospital spend three full days at your local hospital as I am sure they must all be under the same pressures?
Spend day 1 in A & E
Day 2 in the Resus unit
Day 3 on a ward
Let me assure you whatever you think you know about the NHS staff it will open your eyes and minds and then ask yourself would you undertake this work for the reward they get, and let me answer this for you .
My view is that I think all the NHS staff are very special people who deserve better treatment in their place of work.
I will finish this journey by scoring the staff and people I came in contact with at Addenbrookes hospital and it is only there pride and will to help others that keeps them going but they are at breaking point and need more help now before they leave the service.
Paramedics 10 out of 10
A & E Doctors 10 out of 10
A & E Nursing staff 10 out of 10
Resus staff 10 out of 10
Scanning department 10 out of 10
Porters 10 out of 10
Catering staff 10 out of 10
Cleaning staff 10 out of 10
Now whilst I have scored every department 10 out 10 and the powers in charge will say that is because everything is place and working well but that is far from the case as it appears to be very close to being unworkable and if any further pressure is put on the system I cannot see how it will cope as they already appear to be far below the number of staff required in every depatment.
I really am grateful to each and every one of you who helped me in my time of need. And think the quote from Winston Churchill some’s you all up.
NEVER WAS SO MUCH OWED TO SO MANY BY SO FEW.
As I mentioned at the start of my week 6 diary my steps have been very low with only 35494 this week
Taking the total steps to date to 610.687
Donation total now at £3.755 leaving £6245 to the £10.000 target
I must thank the generosity of the sponsors that have again been kind enough donate money this week.
Hortech Systems Ltd
Not forgetting the anonymous donations
I hope to be well enough moving forward in week 7 to start getting some more steps on the board to enable the 1 million step total to be achieved
Ian Darler B.E.M