If you are not convinced that we have a crisis in our health service then have a read of this…
We have recently taken instructions from a man who was involved in a road traffic accident at the beginning of March.
Our client, as affable and easy-going a 64 year old man as you could hope to meet, was knocked off his bicycle, not far from Axminster at around 5.30 on a Friday evening. His bike was wrecked. Fortunately he wasn’t.
Comparatively minor injuries to ribs and one knee but still serious enough for the ambulance crew that turned up at the scene to decide that he needed to go to hospital. Off they went, to Honiton.
When they got there, a little after 6.00 in the evening, the hospital was shut. As far as our client could see there was nobody there at all, and sadly the paramedics seemed to accept that there was no-one about to dispense urgent medical treatment.
So, what next?
Oh – look at the time! “It’s the end of our shift,” they told him – “you’ll have to find your own way home”.
And – yes – would you believe it, they left him and his bent and twisted bike in the car park outside the hospital and disappeared off to wherever they might be headed at that time on a Friday evening...
Admittedly our man was not bleeding to death on the steps of the (closed) hospital but he had been knocked off his bicycle by a motor car less than an hour earlier and he is only a year from retirement.
If the ambulance crew did not feel that he needed hospital attention then why bother to take him (and his bicycle) there? In any event, why didn’t they know that Honiton hospital was or would be shut?
As it was, our man went to Yeovil District Hospital the following morning, complaining of pain still in his ribs. He dared to suggest to the doctor who examined him that one or more of them might be broken and he should have an x-ray.
“Oh no – we don’t do x-rays on ribs anymore”, he was told.
But the staff at Yeovil were reportedly shocked at how this elderly man had been dumped in the car park to fend for himself the night before.
We are dealing with his claim now. Incidentally, he did not come to us immediately after the accident until after he had a series of telephone conversations with the car driver’s insurers. It seems they spoke to him at least a couple of times with increasing offers of immediate settlement...
So, claims capture and pre-med offers are still alive and well despite the top boys’ roasting almost a year ago – see Hey diddle diddle.
Not this time then guys. Perhaps when insurers’ PFI mates have taken over the running of our hospitals and emergency services they will have more success.
Paramedics will no doubt be trained to leave the back doors of the ambulance open and threaten to push the trolley out if the accident victim does not quickly sign a disclaimer in return for a fortnight’s rehab and a bunch of flowers.