Help NHS staff deal with Coronavirus

Help NHS staff deal with Coronavirus

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Friday 20, March, 2020

ALTHOUGH A LONGSTANDING writer for ThinkScotland I am trained as a medic and can swear COVID-19 is a huge emergency. If you wish to help and have no NHS qualifications please click the link below:

https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteering

I am returning to work in the NHS having warned about the threat of the virus since January 31st. I will likely be working in emergency medicine or surgery. This is a polite request to future patients and relatives that I have found over the years helps staff and really makes their lives easier.

Please share. Ok here we go!

1. My golden rule. Bring your prescription or copy of it – or even just the boxes of your medicines. A&E will NOT have immediate access to your records and we must know as soon as possible what you take. We will have versions of your medicines here but we must know the name and dose. "The little white pill" is a song from the 60s, it does not help us at all in guessing your needs!

2. We're here to help as partners working with you. We do trust you to take our advice because it really matters. Please just take it.

3. We understand you are frightened and tired. Some of us are too. Our priorities will not be the same as yours but they won't change because ours puts patients clinical needs first.
Being nice and a patient patient really helps us a lot.

4. Stop smoking because it makes you more likely to get sick from COVID-19 which could kill you. It also means you'll more likely end up on an ITU someone else needs that you could have avoided using. Patients will die during this time from a lack of ITU beds so you could help by avoiding it.

5. To quote a hospital porter in Liverpool, please DO bring your own toiletries and change of underwear. You may be here for many days and while we can provide these things, there is a cost to the NHS and to our stretched supply chains. It really helps.

6. Try to avoid using your own car to get here unless you are with a relative, of the same household, who is self isolating and can take the car back. Car paking spaces are very limited. Again you cannot assume you wont be staying many days so plan ahead.

7. Be clean as possible. Be sober if possible. We will be professional and do our best regardless but it just makes it a BIT nicer for us to work with you. Not essential but very desirable. What Nan used to say about clean underwear is very sound advice!

8. Weekends tend to be especially busy as GPs are closed and many people are drunk. Don't be that drunk. Don't be the angry, shouty or overly friendly or flirty drunk. It's not nice. It is harder to help you and others. Be sensible. It's your NHS too.

9. Think about bringing a friend from the same household if you can't speak English very well or at all. We will help everyone as best we can but the more information we have the better.

10. Be discrete when using any mobile phone, and we know you use them. We just don't have to hear it and nor do other patients.

I think ten helpful tips will do for now! Hope not to see you soon. If we do, you'll get the best we have. But help us to help you.

Dr Jonathan Stanley

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