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

The DGH A&E department: A new hang out for dithering drunks on a Saturday night
The DGH A&E department: A new hang out for dithering drunks on a Saturday night

Last Saturday night I had the misfortune to spend six hours in A&E with an 86-year-old friend who had taken a nasty tumble and needed treatment that night.

I say misfortune not because of the excellent and prompt care from the lovely ambulance crew who turned up within minutes.

Nor due to the overworked and underpaid stretched skeleton staff at the DGH who are doing their best with limited resources.

Aside from the six-hour wait from seeing a triage nurse to being tended to and stitched back together by a doctor, the reason the experience was so unpleasant was the amount of drunks sitting in the Emergency Unit waiting room with some ailment or another after scrapping in the early hours.

Forgive me for coming across as slightly unsympathetic for their plight but the effing and jeffing, shouting, squawking and abuse was something else.

As if that wasn’t bad enough they started picking on other patients waiting to be seen and then started repeating themselves at the top of their voice in that highly irritating way that drinkers do.

Like us, they were made to wait in line to see the long suffering doctor. As if it isn’t bad enough in A&E at the best of times, you can only feel sorry for the staff having to put up with such nonsense.

I know I won’t make any friends among my socialist compadres, who will argue that people shouldn’t be turned away from medical facilities because they can’t afford it, but if these dithering drunkards had to pay for their treatment, they might have thought twice before turning up to hospital and it might sink in that A&E doesn’t actually mean Anything and Everything.

Kevin Gordon has a valid point when he writes in this week’s Herald on the Letters Page about the need for a new Eastbourne Museum. When I was knee high to a grasshopper we had the Towner Art Gallery in Gildredge Park and even though the museum section was small, it was hugely popular and very interesting.

When that closed and the new Towner concentrated on art as opposed to history, the museum was packed away and remains so until this day apart from some well constructed exhibitions at the Pavilion Tearooms on the seafront and of course, the wonderful Heritage Centre in Carlisle Road.

What is missing though is a purpose built museum to show off our fascinating past. I agree with Kevin and would encourage everyone who loves our town to lobby their elected councillors and push for a new museum to be built and opened as soon as possible to show off the town’s proud history.

There is no birthday roll call this week (although I have now officially entered my 50th year and plan to celebrate with 50 things to do starting with my very first trip to Glyndebourne to see Cosi Fan Tutte) but huge congratulations are in order for Bibendum’s lovely Mike Watkin and his beautiful lady Heidi Stewart who got engaged on a recent holiday. Love, hugs, lots of happiness and best wishes for your future together.