When the clapping stops

Last year we were clapping. Stood on our doorsteps; supportive of the NHS. However, now the claps have fallen silent. The rainbows have faded, the signs have come down. Instead the pressure is rising.

As a paramedic working frontline, in hospitals and in urgent care I see the pressure. I see frustration in 90% of my patients.

We’ve waited 6 hours”

“I can’t get hold of my GP”

“The hospital has turned us away”

“They said you would be here within 18 minutes”

Talking to my colleagues; doctors, nurses, reception staff, call takers and everyone else in the NHS we all share the same feeling. We understand. We are frustrated as well and most of all, we still care. However, the NHS is on its knees. We need your claps now more than ever. We have fought a pandemic for over a year now, watched your loved ones suffer and delivered vaccines around the clock. We are fighting for our lives, our families lives and your lives.

Winter pressure is a real thing. The calls go up; the complexity goes up and due to all of this, So do the wait times. So the next time you’re frustrated because you have waited 6 hours for your sore throat please think about the person outside on the ambulance who has had a stroke. Or the grandmother who has been laying on the floor waiting for an ambulance for 12 hours since they are queuing outside the department unable to respond to her.

The NHS is still free for all. Wait times are not first come first served. Sometimes even the sickest wait. Please consider other options – have you seen a pharmacist? Have you phoned 111? Have you tried to deal with it at home?

The NHS is on its knees. Let’s help it stand again.

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