Recently, I had the privilege of accompanying a friend who needed an emergency ambulance call out to St Richard’s Hospital.
She felt unwell (possibly an anaphylactic reaction) in her garden and managed to call her neighbour who phoned 999. He was expertly guided as to what to do for her by the emergency telephonist in the interim until the ambulance arrived 12 minutes later.
Having lost consciousness, she was treated by the crew and given appropriate medication. (Just as the ambulance arrived I passed by and called in to see if I could help in any way, and felt my friend needed someone she knew to be with her.)
As a nurse with a lifetime’s career in the profession, I had to express my total appreciation of the professional treatment and thoughtful care and reassurance that was given to my friend by those involved. But for their speedy intervention the outlook might well have been very different to her present recovery.
The ambulance driver, a charming young lady, was simply wonderful, weaving in and out of the rather sluggish traffic and only using the siren when drivers blocked the road. Her driving down the middle of the A27 between articulated lorries was especially impressive!
On arrival at the emergency reception of St Richards the care was smooth and rapid; the transfer apparently seamless. Several staff were in attendance, all with a specific role and great consideration for my friend.
Successful monitoring and treatment meant she felt so much better a few hours later.
My purpose in writing is to praise and thank staff within these services that we are lucky to have in this area.
Huge resources are required to save lives (as in this example), a fact which is appreciated by many I know and hopefully such provision will not be misused or ever taken for granted.
Professor Dame Jenifer Wilson-Barnett
Emeritus Professor of Nursing, King’s College, London