Emergency Patients ONLY for Busy A&E
Following the closures of many A&E departments, there will only be a maximum of five remaining to cover the whole of Wales. As a result anyone needing A&E as before will now find it extremely difficult to access emergency treatment. Even if they manage to complete the pilgrimage to Cardiff & Vale University Hospital for Wales, you are highly likely to be redirected to a 'Minor Injuries' unit, miles away from the capital.
As yet, we haven't had any clear definition of what constitutes a 'minor injury', but, the definition of an emergency has been partly explained as : severe chest pains, a stroke, breathing difficulties or major trauma ( eg.seriously burned, major traffic accident, major haemorrhage, falling from a great height, being hit by a lightning bolt, or caught in a meteorite shower ). Of course, being brutally stabbed, mugged or shot will also be included in this category but - as with all trauma cases - treatment will only be available to survivors of the long ambulance journey. In future, the word 'avoidable' will not be used to describe deaths 'in transit'.
Potential candidates for emergency treatment should not forget the Revolving Door Protocol ( see earlier post ) which should save unnecessary journeys, resulting in being denied access to A&E treatment. Another important fact is that people who imagine they are ill or seem to suffer broken limbs, could ( and should ) take their problem to their local GP or the Out of Ours service - providing that you telephone within a certain time, and are prepared to wait up to four weeks for an appointment. The Out of Hours rules are somewhat different, being that, if you aren't bed-ridden you must travel the 15 or so miles to their base to wait in a queue to see a doctor. If you are bed-ridden, Out of Hours staff say that if they send a doctor to you, you will be sent to hospital so you might just as well dial 999 in the first instance.
I sincerely hope that these explanations have given you a degree of comfort and that - if you are foolish enough to become ill ( mostly self-inflicted ), stay away from hospital A&E hospital departments, take two Aspirin, and then call me in the morning ! R. W.