Freedom to speak up at SWAST is a mess…

I recently resigned from the Council of Governors for my local ambulance service. When I say local, it covers a huge area the population of which triples in summer. Recently, it has been in a critical incident due to Covid-19 and the stupidity of holiday makers taking unnecessary risks.

My resignation was to do with internal messes, miscommunications, and breach of my trust. So, I did not resign to my boss but to the Chairman of the Trust.

The interview was arranged by the chairman so that I could my concerns. However, the freedom to speak up left me with more concerns than ever.

I brought up that someone broke the Equality Act. I was told that they were kind so that didn’t matter, and further that they were kind meant they had broken the law “proportionally”. Proportionality is shown is in the penalty, not the breaking of the law!

I brought up that no one knew how to make a complaint about an emergency call handler. (Here, the complaint is made to the service needed. For example, if you have dialled 999 because you cannot breathe and all you can say is “am- am- am”, rather than ambulance, the 999 call handler should recognise that it is not the police or fire service that is required. It is amazing how many emergency call handlers cannot distinguish that. The time delayed could cost a life). But no, the freedom to speak up person also believed that the complaint goes to 999. Instead of believing me, she told me she would find out for herself. How rude.

So my debrief from my resignation left me with more concerns than before my debrief and very concerned about the culture within the office staff of that ambulance service.


A trying 24 hours…

Photo by Martin Coward

The photo above is near where I live. During my school years, I learned to ride horses just where this happens twice a day.

I once drove some colleagues from the US around my area, and this happened during the drive. They were in complete disbelief despite the very apparent evidence.

I broke my own rule with my title today. I used 24 instead of writing the words. It is poor writing practice and I don’t like it. But I am weary from trying to stay well. On Sunday night I called for paramedics as I was struggling to breathe. Around 10pm. Eventually, I went to bed leaving lights on, and my packed bag in case I should be taken to hospital.

I woke at almost 8am and found a missed call from SWAST at 06.21am. I was puzzled as crews have entered my home at 3am before.

I made my way to hospital to be nebbed, but found the ED to be hostile to my physiology. I left and went home. Half an hour later paramedics arrived. Thirteen hours after my call. This is how busy they are. They were great and fixed me.

My inhalers ran out yesterday. The pharmacy has none until Thursday. My lungs were screaming at me, so I went to my surgery. I did not get a warm welcome. Despite their ability to neb me they consider it a job for SWAST or ED. That SWAST is in a critical incident does not matter. That ED is hostile to my illness is irrelevant. My previous GP nebulised me there.

In the end, I was nebbed. It has helped me through the day. I have had to rest more.

I am in touch with an old friend again. I’ve known him since I was 18. He was a reliable friend to me, and helped me when I was in schtuk. Once, I phoned him as I was lost in Wiltshire, and asked him to get a window that was ajar at the back of my place further open and climb in to get a phone number from my address book by my phone. ( Remember those days?). He once also jimmied open my car when I locked my car keys in. AND HE was the one that noticed when I sat on his brother’s motorbike and burned my calf through the muscle. I felt nothing, but was in shock and he noticed my white face.

A carful of us headed to ED, me still not feeling anything, That burn took months to granulate.


My admiration for Tony Fox

I wrote my resignation to Tony, the Chairman, rather than my boss. I got such a wonderful response and an invitation to help improve SWAST.

He is a true leader. Having humility with his responsibilities and authority.

Few are like this. He is a quality leader and all my admiration has redoubled itself. I shall miss him so much.


Overall, a good day…

This morning my man put together my replacement swing seat. It is wooden so will not rust or rot. It fits perfectly where the old one was. I planted while he was here, and our chat was companiable. He is such a quality man.

A friend contacted me today to say he is coming tomorrow to help in the garden.y He is another man of quality. I have such wonderful friends in my life. They far outweigh the empty headed people who abuse me on Facebook. Gossips are toxic.

It is so satisfying to see progress in the garden. It is such a healing pastime. I believe we are innate gardeners, the spark just needs to be lit. I have gardened since childhood. And in every country I have lived in.

I have a new pain. It is in my ribs but also a spasm of a muscle under my ribs. The pain is incredible. Until a new prescription arrives I use gin and bitter lemon for relief. I don’t like doing this but it is temporary.

I have told my boss at SWAST about the ridicule and abuse I have had on Facebook. He has complete faith in me and said how much value I have brought to SWAST.

I am so grateful to work for such a fantastic organisation.


Information day with SWASFT…

This morning I managed to get zoom working on the Mac, and attended an information day.

We were given a demonstration of how dispatching works. It is very complicated as events change by the minute. My admiration for dispatchers is huge.

We had a few other topics presented with power points but it was never boring at all. I found it humbling that such wonderful people are working twelve hour shifts and get so little thanks.

I met other governors as well as my lead, and some other staff in other roles. It was a lovely start to my day.

I am sleeping well, and am in touch with friends and my daughter. I have come to know some neighbours who are both trauma nurses. The husband admired my home and my garden. The wife said she had seen me in A&E last week, using my laptop. I remembered then that once I had been relieved of pain, I decided to write. As no one was in earshot, I went over to my bag to get it, and that’s when the venflom was yanked out of my hand and blood spurted everywhere. The IV stand was fixed. Even so, my brain was malfunctioning, I had been in so much pain just by being in A&E.

A third laptop has been returned. I am struggling to find the same quality of laptop within my budget. Even refurbished ones.

My day has disappeared. It’s already 9pm.