The Anonymous Widower

Nightingale Plan To Keep Hospitals Free From Coronavirus

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Britain’s Nightingale hospitals are being lined up to become the primary centres for treating Covid-19 patients as ministers announced that parts of the NHS would start reopening for routine care from this week.

It’s almost as if we’re going back to the concept of the Victorian fever hospital.

Where I lived in Southgate in North London as a child, the local hospital was Highlands, which was built with several separate blocks, with one for each different fever. It is now upmarket housing in a parkland setting.

T have three memories of treatment at the hospital.

  • In the early 1950s, I had my tonsils out in the hospital, which meant a week’s stay by myself.
  • My mother had her varicose veins treated there, where according to my father the surgeon was a very beautiful Indian lady, who did ward rounds in a sari.
  • The hospital fixed my left humerus, when it was broken by the school bully!

Unfortunately, they didn’t do the best job to fix my arm and it has given me trouble ever since.

April 28, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment

What Percentage Of People In The UK Survive COVID-19?

This is only a simple analysis based on the COVID-19 statistics published on Sunday, 26th April.

  • So far 152,840 people have been lab confirmed as having COVID-19.
  • There has also been 20,732 deaths in hospitals.
  • Suppose another 25% have died in care homes or in their own bed.
  • That would give a total of 25,915 deaths.
  • So rather crudely, if you get tested positive for COVID-19, you have a 17% chance of dying. What is the chance of dying from a serious stroke or breast cancer?
  • On the other hand 126,925 or 83% have survived.
  • Some, let’s say 20,000 are in ICU beds in hospitals, reducing the figures to 106,925 or 70% that survived.

We should be examining these seventy percent to see why they survived.

The official statistics concentrate on the negative side, but don’t publish figures like how many left hospital for convalescence at home or in an ordinary hospital ward!

Update – 27th April 2020

The actual figure of those in ICU beds yesterday was 18,667, which makes the figures 108, 258 and 71% have survived.

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 4 Comments

Big London Hospital Was Close To Running Out Of Oxygen

The title of this post is the same as this article on  The Times.

With COVID-19 and all those ventilators and CPAP devices, this sounds like a tragedy about to unfold.

I also remembered a story told to me by a friend, who used to be the Chief Pharmacist at a London hospital.

Oxygen was one of their problems, as the tanks were in a small yard with gates opening on to a busy street, about two hundred metres, away from the hospital.

The problem was that illegal parkers would block the gates, so that delivery couldn’t be made.

Knowing my physics and the reliability of deliveries in parts of London, I thought on-site electrolysis might be a better idea. So I consulted my bible.

There on page 760, it is all described how water can be split into two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen by electrolysis.

ITM Power are the experts on electrolysis, so I sent them an e-mail and asked if they could make an electrolyser, that produced oxygen instead of hydrogen.

The reply came swiftly and confirmed, that they could make an electrolyser that supplied oxygen. They also said, that the oxygen was of a high purity.

Just Connect Electricity And Tap Water

All these electrolysers would need is supplies of electricity and tap water to create hydrogen and/or oxygen.

No trucks would be needed to deliver tonnes of liquid gases, which can be rather dangerous to move around city streets.

ITM Power’s hydrogen electrolysers are starting to appear in filling stations, so they can refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles.

One could be installed in a hospital to provide a continuous stream of pure oxygen, which could be piped into the current oxygen delivery system.

What To Do With The Hydrogen

The hydrogen electrolysers produce oxygen as a by-product, which I suspect is just vented to the atmosphere!

But you can’t vent large amounts of hydrogen to the atmosphere, as it is an inflammable gas!

However, you could do either of the following options.

  1. Connect it to a hydrogen fuel pump to refuel hydrogen vehicles.
  2. Inject the hydrogen into the gas main, as is regularly done with hydrogen produced by surplus renewable electricity.

I prefer the first option, as it could mean that health-care could start to use hydrogen-powered ambulances, that are zero carbon and pollution-free.

Perhaps not an appropriate saying for the industry, but it would genuinely kill two birds with one stone.

 

 

 

April 3, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Spirit Of Renkioi Hospital Lives

Renkioi Hospital was the prefabricated hospital built for the Crimea.

I read the story of the hospital in L T C Rolt’s biography of the engineer; Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Wikipedia says this about how the hospital was designed.

In February 1855, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was invited by the Permanent Under Secretary at the War Office, Sir Benjamin Hawes (husband of his sister Sophia), to design a pre-fabricated hospital for use in the Crimea, that could be built in Britain and shipped out for speedy erection at still to be chosen site.

Brunel initially designed a unit ward to house 50 patients, 90 feet (27 m) long by 40 feet (12 m) wide, divided into two hospital wards. The design incorporated the necessities of hygiene: access to sanitation, ventilation, drainage, and even rudimentary temperature controls. These were then integrated within a 1,000 patient hospital layout, using 60 of the unit wards. The design took Brunel six days in total to complete.

Brunel didn’t hang about!

Let’s hope that the Nightingale hospitals are as successful, as Renkioi Hospital was in the Crimea.

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Medical Bulletin On Myself

About two on Saturday morning, I got out of bed to go to the toilet and tripped into the en-suite bathroom causing myself a serious head injury. I also cut my hand, but what on I do not know! I suspect, that I knocked myself out and when I woke up, my bedroom and living room was like a murder scene with blood everywhere.

The Royal London patched me up, putting a large plaster on my left hand and I stayed Saturday night in the hospital.

My son brought me home on Sunday and I slept that night at home.

On Monday, the cleaners tidied up the mess.

Tuesday, I called 999 again, as I was on the point of falling over and the Royal London found my blood pressure was low, when I stood up. It had been like that, when I had my stroke in Hong Kong and they had to resort to using old-fashioned mercury blood pressure meters.

There was no extra damage and I came home in a taxi.

I’m a bit more normal today, although I seem very sleepy and my INR is just 1.2. 111 told me to start Warfarin yesterday. Which I did!

I shall watch the football on the television and go to bed tonight.

 

 

March 4, 2020 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , , | 9 Comments

An Accident In My Bedroom

I awork on Saturday morning to find myself in a bedroom covered in blood and a living room next door with half as much.

It appeared, that I’d fallen over the bathroom step in the middle of the night and banged my head on the toilet.

I ended up spending a night in the Royal London Hospital and they fixed me up well!

It is now Monday morning and the first picture says a lot. Note the the mat by the step is out of line. It slipped, I then tripped over the step and hit my head on the basin. There is olso an overturned stool in the bathroom, which I must have fallen on and this probably did more damage.

March 1, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , | 13 Comments

A Solution To Hospital Car Parking Charges

If I need to go to my preferred hospital of University College Hospital, I walk round the corner from my house and get a number 30 bus, which stops outside the hospital.

If I want to go to the Royal London Hospital, I take the Overground four stops to Whitechapel.

I live in Dalston, which is reasonably close to Central London and I chose to live here, as I don’t drive.

Some other cities have good hospital access on public transport.

  • Addenbroke’s Hospital in Cambridge has a fast guided busy to the City Centre and the North of the City. It also has it’s own bus station and may even get a railway station.
  • The Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham has a tram stop with direct step-free access to the hospital. The tram system also has seven large Park-and-Ride sites.
  • James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough has its own railway station.

But how many hospitals and that includes many new ones have terrible public transport links?

Consider two elderly sisters; Elsie and Doris, perhaps living on opposite sides of the country.

Suppose one sister has a bad fall and ends up in the local hospital.

  • The train system in the UK is improving and I’ve regularly met fellow train passengers well into their eighties travelling for four or five hours by train, to visit friends and relatives or have a holiday.
  • Crossing London can be a problem for some, but my London-savvy eighty-five year old friend does it regularly.

It’s just the last link to the hospital, that can be a problem.

Norwich And Norfolk Hospital

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is a large teaching hospital, that was built in 2001 on the Western outskirts of the City.

It replaced a City Centre hospital.

There is a bus from the station, but finding details of the schedule is difficult, as the bus company’s web site, is more about selling you deals, that telling you how often the buses run.

I suppose the only way to find out is to go to Norwich station and do some bus spotting.

This Google Map shows the location of the hospital close to the University of East Anglia and the world-famous John Innes Institute.

I’ve only ever been to the area by car and I do wonder what students without transport think about getting to the University of East Anglia.

It certainly, isn’t the sort of place, I’d have wanted to go to University. During our time at Liverpool, C and myself were always popping down Brownlow Hill to the City Centre.

In somewhere like Germany or Switzerland, there would be a tram from the train station.

A London Example Of Improvement

If I wanted to go to Barnet Hospital, I would take the Underground to High Barnet station and then get a bus. But the Underground and bus interchange at High Barnet is not easy, especially on a wet day.

But it does appear that there is a better route, which involves catching a 384 bus from Cockfosters station.

  • The bus provides a feeder service direct to the hospital.
  • Cockfosters station will be step-free in a few years.
  • The bus stops at both Barnet Hospital and the A & E unit.

It’s certainly a lot better than when I lived in the area as a child.

Why Can’t All Hospitals Have Decent Public Transport?

Hospitals are important to so many people and although not every hospital can have a transport network as good as Addenbrooke’s, the Queen’s Medial Centre or University College Hospital, getting to some hospitals is a major logistics nightmare.

  • Hospitals serving a large rural area, must be at the heart of the bus network.
  • There should be a frequent bus or tram service to the city or town centre and the main railway station.
  • There should be much better information.
  • Hospitals could follow Nottingham’s and Cambridge’s .examples, where the hospital is on the city’s Park-and-Ride network.

How many hospitals in the UK meet this standard?

Conclusion

I believe that if decent public transport is provided to a hospital, that many patients, staff and visitors will use it, as they seem to do in Cambridge, London and Nottingham.

  • In some places there is no easy way to get to the hospital and driving is the only way.
  • Car parking is expensive to provide.
  • Some hospitals have no space for car parking to be increased or added.
  • How many are late for their appointments because the parking is full or they can’t find a space?
  • Making car parking free will only make the problem worse, as everybody will drive.

Perhaps we should rate hospitals on the quality of the public transport, just as they are rated on care.

 

November 24, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | 2 Comments

Parking Fees Rise At Many Hospitals In 2017-18, Analysis Finds

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

Four in 10 NHS hospitals in England have increased car parking prices in the last year, new data suggests.

I don’t drive, so it doesn’t effect me and the only hospitals I’ve visited in the last few years; Addenbrooke’s, Homerton, Royal London and University College have been easily accessible by public transport.

The real scandal is that so many hospitals are not easily accessible using fully-accessible public transport.

  • Addenbrooke’s has a large bus interchange, which has connections to Cambridge City Centre and at least one of the City’s large Park-and-Ride sites.
  • Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre has a tram connection to the large Park-and-Ride sites.

But I can think of several hospitals, where the only public transport is an expensive taxi.

I also remember a hospital administrator in London telling me, that the largest number of complaints they received was about car parking.

 

December 28, 2018 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , | 2 Comments

A Station For Morriston Hospital

Morriston Hospital is in Swansea or to be more precise it appears to be up the hill and a fair way from Swansea station. I could probably just walk it.

It would appear that there are plans to reopen Cockett station, which would only be ten minutes by train from the main station and close enough  to Morriston Hospital for a shuttle bus.

It would also mean that to get between the Hospital and East Wales, you wouldn’t have to go into Swansea and change trains.

It looks like the Welsh are finally getting access to the hospital acceptable, but so many hospitals don’t have a decent transport connection.

At too many places in the UK, the only reliable way to get from the main station to the local hospital is by hiring a taxi.

Is that acceptable?

February 18, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Queen’s Medical Centre On The Nottingham Express Transit

The Queen’s Medical Centre is Nottingham’s big hospital.

The tram climbs onto a viaduct to pass through the hospital and although the walkways into the hospital aren’t fully completed, it is surely the way to provide transport to a hospital.

The guy manning the station, as surely it is too grand just be a stop, was proud of his charge, saying it is the only hospital with a tram stop in the UK. I think he could be right, although University station in Birmingham serves the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and my three local hospitals are all served by the Overground or Underground.

Having seen this station, there is no doubt in my mind, that to serve a hospital with its large number of people with mobility problems is the best way to do it, if it is possible.

Nottingham’s solution at the Queen’s Medical Centre is definitely world class.

Nottingham certainly passes the Two Elderly Siblings test with a score of at least nine out of ten.

One sibling is in the hospital and the other lives some distance away but can get to the nearest station to the hospital reasonably easy. Can they then get from the nearest station to the hospital using local transport? Even if they are being pushed in a wheelchair.

In Nottingham, you would use a lift at the station to get to the tram and then it’s a simple ride on a step-free low-floor tram to the station. The hospital is actually on the other side of the tram tracks on arrival from Nottingham station, but as it’s a tram, you just walk or be pushed across, to enter the hospital.

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment