A&E at Easter

Yesterday found us back in hospital again so I just wanted to tell everyone that Gwennie is doing ok, enjoying some ‘wafting of oxygen’. Mainly I wanted to share a little bit of what happened today (because who doesn’t love a good dit about the NHS).

So Gwennie has lung disease & after her last ‘episode’ is somewhat more fragile. Yesterday morning (after a long night of coughing & higher rates of breathing) I called 111 to get Gwennie an out of hours Doctors appointment. Lovely person on the phone who took all the details & with it confirmed that we didn’t need an ambulace (she was still happily watching Cinderella so that counts as non-emergency for Mummy) & if I was happy she’d get a medic to call back to go in more detail within the hour. If she got worse in the meantime call 999. So phone down & walk to put the kettle on. Oh my god. Literally 2 minutes later a paramedic has called me back!! No tea! We went through her long medical history & with me very politely saying we needed a GP rather than minor units she asked if I’d like to go straight to A&E. no no I said. If we can get a Doctor’s appointment in the next few hours that’ll be fine, as we just need someone to check her chest for a crackle. Ok she says and books me in. Doctor will be at Moreton cottage hospital for 10 & will see you then. It was 0920. Golly, good job the ‘incase’ bag was already packed! 10am, GP was running late, (v serious alarm going off on Minors unit). 10 minutes later he’s with us apologising for the delay (personally I’m never quite sure why people apologise for doing their job – but then I guess we are British). After lots of talking & examining he decided that her oxygen saturation levels were just not quite good enough to be sure. So he called the on call Pediatrician at the JR hospital. Quick chat between them & it’s decided the JR want to see her. We’re happy to make our own way there, so the GP prints off some notes for us & tells us to call him if we have any problems at all. Forty minutes later we arrive at the JR. Main Reception booked us in straight away, no queue, no sitting around. Round to children’s A&E, arrive at the reception, greeted with ‘ah we’ve been expecting you’. Taken straight into a side room. At this point monkey is getting ‘pretty upset’ as she’s feeling tired, pants & breathing is a little bit harder work than normal. ‘Is there anything she loves that will help settle her? I’m asked’. Don’t suppose you have any Disney? Brave or anything similar? 30 seconds later a TV is wheeled in front of her & with Brave on the TV she feels Brave & distracted enough to sit on the bed rather than clinging crying to mummy. Meanwhile her nurse starts taking observations & I’m asked if I’ve had a cup of tea yet today? Well.. now that you mention it.. 2 minutes later – tea! In a mug! So now I get to wait around & relax with my tea I’m thinking… nope. In comes the doctor, to give Gwennie a full once over. So in the space of 20 minutes of having walked into A&E we have a treatment plan, she’s on her first nebuliser, we know we’re being admitted, she’s relaxing because not only is getting to watch Brave but every nurse, play specialist & doctor that has been to see her has spoken to her & let her play with their stethoscope, & her mummy is more relaxed because she has a cup of tea. Fast forward to now & I’ve spent the night on a put up bed next to her. Excellent. She’s hysterical when she has a nebuliser so much easier for Mummy to be the bad guy & hold her for it so she’s at least calmer, the Nurse then gets to be the good guy who she’s not scared of. If she was sick at home I would have slept even less anyway as I’d be worried she wasn’t breathing! I am shattered – yes, but so is every other mummy & daddy on these wards trying to settle their child & get them better.

Since coming to the ward she’s been seen by a consultant, 2 Registrar’s & has had a very sweet male SHO keeping a close eye on her.

So why am I telling you all this? Because it’s Easter. Because it’s a Bank Holiday. And because I’m fed up with people complaining about the NHS. I’m tired of people saying that they don’t work 7 days. Because they do & they work fricking hard. Yes sometimes you can get annoyed by someone not seeming to be interested, & yes there are some not so good nurses & doctors out there, but then you get that in every field of work & these people are working to make people’s lives better!

I think they’re pretty awesome as when things are serious they’re the ones that step up. You need to breathe to live (a fact which is often lost on my beloved daughter) so when a child comes in with a respiratory problem they are all over it. Without a doubt the only reason my daughter breathes is because of the NHS & the people in it, who not only work 7 days, but will also make a mum a cup of tea rather than themselves if they have a minute. Soap box off,


I do have 2 tiny suggestions for improvement though…

  1. Please please can we have no spill coffee cups for the Childrens Wards?! (I understand kids try & burn themselves but the parents in here are desperate for that fix!)
  2. Can every Nurse be given a light up Olaf on completion of training please – they’re amazing at distracting kids from procedures!

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