Accident Prone me – and a review of the NHS experience

This morning started normally. I got up with the alarm (on the third attempt) at 7am, got myself organised and out of the door. Its a quick walk to the bus stop and that there was a bus at the lights (well actually there were 2). It seemed that luck was on my side.

I dug out my phone to activate my bus ticket app. I must have been head down, looking at my phone and I guess I missed the step. The next thing I know, I’ve fallen into the bus and my shins hurt. After being helped up by 3 very kind gentlemen (including the bus driver) I hobbled to a seat, reassuring everyone I’m ok – as you do. It was about 7.45 am.

I went to check my legs, expecting some bruising, some red bumps. The first thing I noticed was my trouser leg was sopping wet. I lifted the leg and I had a little spouting fountain. It looked like something out of a TV drama! Eh – I think I might need an ambulance.

It wasn’t my best start to the morning.

Today’s Focus

Despite my accident, I’m actually planning to talk more about my experience of the NHS this morning. We hear so many bad things about waiting lists, the length of time to wait on an ambulance and the time you can wait to be treated at the Emergency Department (ED) etc. Like everyone else in the UK, I had heard these stories, and experienced some third hand when my mother-in-law was taken into hospital back in March (effectively taking 24 hours from when the ambulance was called by her GP to the point when she was actually admitted to the ward.

Once we knew what was happening, one of my initial thoughts was that I wished I’d brought my book with me as I expected to be sitting about for hours on end. Oh well, I have e-books on my phone.

The bus

It wasn’t enough to disrupt my morning by damaging my leg, I disrupted the bus and all its passengers too. As there was blood on the bus, the other passengers had to transfer busses and the bus itself was and sent for cleaning.

The driver and the First Bus Inspector, when he arrived, did a good job of looking after me. Did I need water? Anything to eat? Was I feeling ok? Was I feeling dizzy etc. The Inspector was even going to take me to the hospital/to the ED if necessary.

Emergency Services

The bus driver called the emergency services on my behalf, and they were helpful. They explored a range of ways to help get me to the hospital. An ambulance was going to take at least 2 hours to come out, so they considered a rapid response unit before deciding to send a taxi to take me to the hospital. It was certainly a much faster option than waiting for an ambulance and once I was on my way to the hospital I guess the driver could take the bus to the depot for cleaning.

The Emergency Department

I got to the ED at about 8.30 am and checked in. They said I would have to go to the Minor Injury Unit but that it didn’t open until 9am. I wonder if I would have had to go there if I’d arrived earlier. Anyway, I had to sit in the ED until the unit opened. It really was like sitting in an eposide of Casualty – some drunk guy got brought in, dumped in a seat by someone who then just left – I guess that really does happen after all. I was glad when it was time for me to head across the car park to the Minor Injury Unit.

Minor Injury Unit

At 9am and along with a couple of other women waiting outside, we entered the converted portacabins that formed the Minor Injury Unit, The floor looked like a swimming pool – it was dry outside so I don’t think the roof is leaking, so I was a bit perplexed as to where the water came from. The explanation is the porter cleaning the floor didn’t have a mop to clean the floor so was just pouring water – not a particularly safe approach to floor cleaning.

Stepping carefully to avoid the puddles, I was shown to a cubicle almost as soon as I arrived. The cut on my leg was cleaned, treated, covered and I was given a tetanus shot – I have a real fear of needles, so that was probably the worst bit, once I realised I didn’t need stitches.

I was treated and back out of the hospital by about 10.15 am. I’d not had anything to eat or drink, so first stop was one of the hospital cafes to get coffee and a pastry before the journey home so I could rest my leg and get out of my soaked trousers. It was about 12 noon, by the time I got home as it was a 2-bus journey.

Review of my experience

From when I had my accident, to getting to the hospital, being treated and then getting back home, it took me about 4 hours in total, but the time in the hospital itself was less than 2 hours. I had expected to be there for many more hours,

What I’ve learned is that the NHS may still be struggling with having the right resources in the right place at the right time but they do appear to be finding ways to work around this when they can. Getting a taxi to take me to the hospital rather than waiting 2hrs plus on an ambulance. Setting up sub-units that can have a narrow focus, processing patients more quickly – such as referring me to the Minor Injuries Unit also seems an efficient approach. I did also notice that this wasn’t purely a walk-in emergency service as the other lady waiting for the unit to open had an appointment.

Generally things happened so quickly, that apart from the 30 minutes or so waiting for the Unit to open at 9, I didn’t have the time to read. I was able to get home, put my leg up and do some mark (always working).

I’ve been impressed with my experiences today (apart from the sore legs), I think we only ever hear about the bad experiences, so I felt it important to share a more positive one.

62 comments

  1. I hope you are feeling okay.

    Thanks for this post. Like you said, the resources are scarce and staff have left in their drones, but to us who are left behind, we just get on with it despite being criticised left, right and centre, get shouted at, sworn at, attacked physically…

    However, what means more to most of us are happy and satisfied patients whose lives we’ve touched. It makes the job worth doing, yes, but as human beings (despite what others think), we can only take so much.

    • Quite a bit of pain and my leg still seems to be bleeding a little. I’ll see how it is in the morning, but it is sore.

      I don’t think there’s any need to abuse NHS staff trying their best to do a good job. I guess accessing the services on a Monday morning will be different than a Friday/Saturday night. But I did get a feel for dealing with drunks etc as they are going to be about 24/7. I believe the guy this morning was an alcoholic and even for the 30 minutes or so I was in the ED he was repeatedly told he can’t consume alcohol on the premises. He was disruptive, impatient and creating a situation that the staff shouldn’t have to deal with.

      The staff I dealt with were all pleasant and did their best. i agree we should appreciate their efforts more – although maybe the guy cleaning the floors needs some additional training or they’ll have more slips and falls 😆

  2. I’m glad you were well-looked after 😊 I must admit some people just consider it as a job now, but there are a lot who still consider healthcare as a calling.

    Heh, yes, the cleaning person should be told!

  3. Oh Brenda! I am so sorry that this happened. I would offer one small positive- that being that it was a different body part this time, but my gosh- this really can’t become a trend for you. I’m glad you were well taken care of.

    • Thank you Deb. I agree, even on my clumsy scale, this is excessive. I think I need to wrap myself in cotton wool lol. At least with this injury I can put my leg up to rest it, and with the wonders of technology, I can continue to work.

  4. I hope your leg is feeling better by now. Your experience at the ED sounds pretty positive, and it would’ve been about the same here, but ours may not be as fast as yours was. Take care.

    • Thanks Kellye. I’m still in a lot of pain, but its a massive bruise, so I think I’ll be hobbling for a few days.

      • Hugs and good vibes coming your way. I fell the other day and face planted on the sidewalk. Luckily, people were there to help me. I have a black eye, sore wrist and very sore ribs, but it could’ve been worse. At least I didn’t knock out any teeth! Take care of yourself.

  5. So sorry to hear that you had an injury! Sounds like you had great assistance from many people…that’s a blessing. Rest up as I know you are doing. Sending you prayers for healing, Brenda. Peace

  6. Glad to know that you are doing well and that your experience with NHS was a positive one
    In India, especially in cities and towns, these kinds of injuries are treated much faster.
    Have a restful day.
    Take care, Brenda.

    • I think we always just assume the medical care we need will always be there. But just like any publicly funded body, its really struggling because of central government budget cuts. Not counting also the impact that Covid had on an already stretched service. I had expected to be sitting 4, 6 hours, maybe more. So I was definitely surprised.

  7. ouch… sorry, Brenda. Hope you feel better and it heals well and fast.
    glad you found something good in your experience and shared that along. 🤍

    Take care, dear Brenda 🤍🤗

  8. The NHS is desperately underfunded but I always find NHS workers themselves will pull out all the stops to help. I hope you’ve got your leg up and you’re having a rest.

    • Thanks 60onabudget. I agree, the staff I dealt with were great … the woman on the phone at the ambulance service. The nurse and doctor who treated me.
      I think its good that management seem to be taking a step back and considering how they can deliver in different ways to improve waiting times etc, which does improve the patient experience.

  9. Oh my goodness, Brenda! I’m not sure if you need to be wrapped in bubble wrap, or if you should be in a human sized hamster ball when you venture out! I’m glad you had so much help and timely too! Hope you are feeling better!

  10. That was an experience and three quarters wasn’t it? So sorry to read this happening to you. There is so much you have written in your words for myself to reflect on from my nursing days. But the most important part is that it is really good that you were seen as quickly as was possible. Rest and take time out to heal is what you really need. Keep an eye on the skin surrounding the wound for heat and redness. Oh! Also……Keep future safe and steady and ignore the belief that things happen in threes! All the best.

    • Thanks Gray … could say that was the third thing as I’d already dropped the TV remote on my foot a few days ago and it already had a bruise lol

      Definitely resting. The cut still bleeds when I put weight on my leg, so it’s definitely resting

  11. Our NHS staff are all heroes, Brenda. It’s such a shame that our government seems to have forgotten what the NHS did during the pandemic when their staff saved so many lives and carried on working up to 18 hours a day. Thank you for posting something positive about the NHS and their staff, especially since some people seem to do nothing but complain in their blog posts.

    Hope you’re feeling better and making a speedy recovery.

    • Still in pain but resting.
      Yes, I felt I had to share the good experience I had which meant I was able to head home to rest

  12. Oh my goodness Brenda, what a thing to happen at the start of your day. I’m hoping by now your leg is healing well, and you aren’t in too much pain.
    Your NHS services operate much like our health care system here. There is some to grumble about, but also a lot to be grateful for. Especially the kind folk who treat us. Your experience was pretty good from a time and efficiency standpoint too.
    Wishing you wellness and a happy day. 🌸

  13. I hope you are recovering well Brenda! I think that sometimes we tend to underestimate health workers. They can do miracles even with a few resources, think about what they did during the pandemic!

  14. Oh, I’m so sorry about the leg but I’m glad your experience in getting it treated was pretty good. I’m so impressed – you really have the knack for taking us along on the journey, no matter what it is! 🙂 Heal quickly! 🙂

  15. Oh dear! I’ve just seen this as I’ve been catching up today. Was it your first day back at work? I hope you’re feeling a bit better although I imagine you’re quite sore. Glad you were treated well at the hospital. I hope this falling over thing is not going to become a regular one.

    • It was my second week back, but classes don’t start til next week. But my cut is still bleeding, although it is easing

      • Do you think it might need a couple of stitches or is moving about setting it off bleeding again?

      • That makes things difficult. You’ll have to try to rest as much as possible and have some nice and quiet reading time. Wishing you a speedy recovery x

      • I think I’m just getting a bit bored/restless being so restricted, but just sitting with my feet up as much as I can

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