Friday, 14 December 2012

Midwinter Mayhem

Today was a dark day for me and I mean that quite literally. At midday, half way through a 6 hour surgical operation, I looked up at the large window we have in our operating room and I thought that the sun was being eclipsed - but no, it was just a dark and miserable December day.
The day started for us this morning at 7:15 when Mrs B and I walked out of the house to find the car, the drive and indeed the whole of Sheffield to be covered in sheet ice. We slithered carefully to the car, used a chisel to lift sheets of ice off the windscreen and drove gingerly ( can one drive gingerly?!) to work. It was dark and foggy and we drove past at least 3 car accidents. If one listened carefully , I am sure one would have heard the beginning of a Sheffield symphony that would last the whole day - the sound of breaking bones.
The ED in Sheffield today had a record day for admissions and South Yorkshire Ambulance Service had more than 600 emergency calls to attend to at one time at midday. They had to set a Majax procedure in place and ask for help from neighbouring authorities.
And when such a day dawns in a hospital, what else can possibly go wrong but for CQC to turn up to make an unannounced visit to A&E ! What incredible timing - I just hope the inspectors were given trolley pushing and vomit wiping duties to keep them busy.
( CQC or Care Quality Commission are national inspectors of Hospitals and Social Care facilities in England. Many of their inspections are unannounced ). Thankfully tonight, the temperature has soared to a balmy 6 degrees C. The ED staff and orthopaedic surgeons will however be working for several more hours before the backlog is dealt with. and everyone can put their feet up and enjoy some Christmas cheer.