I arrive at A&E at 8.30pm. Four hours later, I am in a bed in a ward side room. ‘Four hours!’, NHS detractors might say. ‘Four hours! It’s a disgrace & I shall write to the Daily Mail to voice my protest!’. ‘Four hours!’, I say. ‘It’s amazing!’. In that time, I am thoroughly examined physically for a number of possibilities. I undergo blood tests & an x-ray; results of both are examined. I am seen by two doctors (one initially; his concerns lead to a second opinion being sought). Five nurses (a shift change occurs part way through the time), a radiographer, a receptionist & a porter are also involved in the process – not to mention all the other staff & services needed to keep a hospital functioning. Not just a bed, but nightclothes & toiletries are found for me. I am made comfortable – both through their attentions & various forms of pain relief.
All this in four hours, at a time outside of regular working hours & without question of payment. I give my name, address & date of birth. That’s all that’s needed. It’s amazing.