What a difference a day makes!
Wow. 24 hours before, the media showed the Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, running around like a headless chicken to provide a photo opportunity. TV pictures demonstrated how ‘caring’ he was unloading a lorry carrying emergency medical supplies. One wondered why wasn’t he at his desk, working on his Ministerial responsibilities?
Next day, he appeared in front of the cameras to make this announcement, as recorded by The Sun : –
Showing a Statesmanlike manner, he spoke slowly and articulately in measured words (Boris take note) to make an announcement that was dignified, well-thought-out and showing a grasp of what’s needed.
Envy of the World
At the end of this video, Hancock announced that the Army is to open a 4,000 bed hospital in London’s Excel Exhibition Centre. This is incredibly good news, and brings me back to the 80s when my company used to look after VIP groups of Doctors and Consultants from Overseas, invited here by our Foreign Office.
They had come in the aftermath of the Falklands War, to be shown how our Militaries’ Field Hospitals down in the South Atlantic had managed to produce incredible results, saving thousands of lives. As one top American surgeon told me “we couldn’t believe how the British Army managed to get such astounding survival rates from a Field Hospital”. The survival figures had never been so good, and our medics were genuinely the envy of the world.
War has a way of ‘improving’ medical care thanks to what doctors learn from treating wounded. Now, fittingly, this temporary hospital is being named after Florence Nightingale, born 200 years ago this year, who revolutionised nursing and hospitals, and is revered around the world. When things re-open there is an exhibition about her https://aftercancers.com/the-lady-with-the-lamp/
Co-operation with Military and Private Sector
This won’t be the first time the NHS has co-operated with the Military and the private sector. King Edward VII is the hospital of choice when the Royals are sick; it’s private and is the only hospital I know where doctors and consultants don’t apply to work there – they have to be invited.
If you are treated there the atmosphere and surroundings are almost old-fashioned, but equipment is bang up-to-date. It has a Matron. and staff have time to talk to patients rather than filling out tick-boxes and aiming for targets. Since the War in Afghanistan, the hospital has been working with the NHS, offering pionering treatment for veterans who have lost limbs. YouTube has some really eye-popping videos showing what they are up to.
From the Heart
During the broadcast, Hancock paid a very heartfelt tribute to NHS staff and Carers, looking after the sick and vulnerable. I have reason to echo what he said; being rather disabled I depend mightily on Lorraine. Although I told her I didn’t expect her to come in, she arrived armed with rubber gloves and a store of antiseptics, and even left me a large spray can of antiseptic so I can wipe down handles etc. in between her visits.
And she is looking after a large group of us in the Thames Valley. We are truly fortunate.
TV shows pictures of some very stupid people ignoring the ‘keep 6 ft away’ plea. Luckily, most of us live next door to the massive army of caring neighbours who have come forward to help each other during this crisis. Jill is a new neighbour, who only moved in this week. We ‘met’ at a distance in our Courtyard, and already she has bought round supplies, including a large pack of loo rolls! This care package left on my doorstep was topped by a cheerful bunch of yellow tulips!
It tickled my sense of humour that a packet of loo rolls is now THE luxury gift!