OUT IN THE FIELD: A&E isn’t for anything and everything

The sign at A&E on Tuesday night showed a waiting time for patients of seven hours
The sign at A&E on Tuesday night showed a waiting time for patients of seven hours
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The news of a seven hour waiting time in the DGH Accident and Emergency department on Tuesday night shows that, despite all the warnings, people still think the service is there to kiss it better – and that A&E stands for anything and everything.

Yes, they may have been understaffed that night but the fact is far too many people decided to take themselves off to the Kings Drive facility instead of booking an appointment with a doctor.

I do wonder sometimes if people were faced with a bill for their treatment – as they are in other countries – whether they would be so inclined to hotfoot it to A&E at the drop of a hat. I think not.

By the time you read this, the county council elections to choose nine members to represent Eastbourne at County Hall will be over.

No sooner is that done than campaigning steps up a gear for the General Election on June 8. In all of this political campaigning in the run up to the snap election, spare a thought for those behind the scenes who are responsible for the whole democratic process. Fortunately they manage to pull it out of the bag every time.

Without prior notice of an election, the availability of polling stations, count venues and staff are unknown and can lead to a serious amount of time seeking suitable replacements. Elections are subject to long statutory timetables so when two are in such close proximity, the two timetables of work overlap creating a very complex period for electoral teams.

And although a lot of people are involved in running elections, by far the greatest pressure falls on small electoral teams. With two elections so close, they have no recovery time from the first before leaping into the second. Regular elections are always planned for May so other work can be planned around it but when an election is called at short notice at an unusual time, it has a major effect on other planned work.

So, if you’re fed up already of all the political hype, talk of marginal seats and door knocking, remember the efforts of those who make everything happen so you can exercise your democratic right and put a cross in the box.

Last week I whinged about too many tribute acts taking to the Devonshire Park Theatre and Winter Garden stages and Sue Barrell from Herstmonceux agrees with me. Sue writes, “Why do all the top, first class orchestras like Jools Holland and John Wilson go to Bournemouth and Tunbridge Well but miss Eastbourne?

We are a discerning audience base who will soon have access to a refurbished state of the art concert hall which is too good for tribute group after tribute group, great though some of them are. Can someone in the council please contact these people while the Congress is closed and offer locals an amazing opening night of top quality music as befitting the venue and its customers?”

Finally this week, hearty congratulations to the Herald’s own reporter Juliet Mead, her husband Al and three-year-old Violet on the safe arrival of little Henry who was born last week. Mother and baby are doing fine.