Tuesday 10 July 2012

Medics should be seen but not heard

"Bunch of primadonnas acting like spoilt brats"

Doing the job I do, I get the opportunity to work an various different types of events for a number of different companies. Most recently I worked at Wembley for the England international match against Holland. Being a new stadium and one with a huge capacity, as expected it has excellent medical facilities. There is a mini hosiptal which has minors, majors, a resus, x-ray facilities and everything else you would expect from a hospital. There are doctors, nurses, consultants, radiographers, paramedics, EMT's and first aiders enabling it to be a self contained fully functioning hospital. Due to beaurocricy however it is not run by just one company. Wembley Medical staff the hosiptal, but they do not have the contract to take patients to hospital. This is done by another contractor who provides 3 ambulances and staff to man them. On top of this London Ambulance Service have to provide staff incase there is a major incident as neither of the other ones have the resources to cope. The problem is the 3 companies don't work in harmony. The whole operation can't go ahead without LAS presence, Wembley Medical don't welcome LAS and the transport are treated like a sub species by Wembley Medical. It does make for some interesting interactions which I have seen first hand from all sides, having firmly stuck my fingers in all the pies going! On this particular occasion I was working for the company contracted to transport the patients to hospital.

Each company has their own priorities regarding patient care. Up to 90,000 people cram into the stadium and all have the right to treatment free of charge. The NHS does still exist at the moment! There are mobile medical teams, first aid points on every levels and skill mix of staff to deal with everything. Once in the hospital they are treated for their illness or injuries and either discharged or taken to an NHS hospital by one of the ambulances. Unfortunately it appears only certain facilities are available to the paying public. If a precautionary x-ray is needed, rather than have it done on site by the radiographer the public will be sent to join the queues at the local hospital. X-ray is reserved for footballers only. If a patient is ill enough to be in the resus room they can only go in there if all 3 beds are empty. Resus is reserved for players only, they need privacy afterall. If a patient dies, the priority isn't to work on them and save them. Oh no. It's to get them off site as quick as possible because, and I quote:

"It's not good for PR if someone dies at Wembley, imagine the headlines!"

Forget about the fact that 'stay and play' is sometimes the best thing to do, we've got an image to protect. That's what's important right?!

When I said there are 3 ambulances, that isn't entirely true either. There are 3 vehicles but only one is for the public. It's the old one. There is a slightly newer one that can be used as a spare ambulance in case the players need 2, but they would rather it wasn't used. Then, there is the brand new ambulance. That is only for the players should they need it. And if they do, these are the instructions we have.
  • Don't talk to them
  • Don't speak unless you are spoken to.
  • Don't ask them questions
  • Don't ask for autographs
  • Don't take photos
  • Do whatever they want, no matter how unreasonable you think it is. They are the priority over anyone else. They get what they want.
Since when did these overpaid, untalented ADHD kids become royalty. Since when do they get to dictate and affect the treatment of the public? We were basically told, 'you are their bitch'. Why are we even there then? I understand the rules about photos and autographs, that wouldn't be professional, but 'don't speak unless you are spoken too'? I'm not a petulant child from the 1950's. I'm here to provide medical care to anyone who needs it regardless of social status or ability to do kick-ups. 

Another example of the needless pampering arose when I was bringing a patient from somewhere in the stadium to the hospital. The lady had a head injury from a fall, albeit a minor one. She wasn't well enough to walk so she was in a chair. As you can imagine Wembley is huge. The hospital is in the underbelly of the stadium. To access it there is an internal road over 1km in length that goes around the entire circumference of the pitch, just outside of public view. We were within 100ft of the hospital and were stopped my security. 

"Sorry, this way is now closed, there may be players by the coaches"

"We are going to the hospital with our patient"

"You'll have to go the other way, we can't have people getting near the players"

Fifteen minutes laters we reached the hospital. I simply do not understand the power these players have. The fact that Wembley Medical seem willing to allow this nonsense goes a long way to explaining. I understand that the players should be left alone by staff, we are not their to verbally abuse John Terry (as much as I'd love to) but if a paramedic and an EMT are wheeling a patient with an obvious, actively bleeding head injury to hospital, how can it be right, or medically responsible to make us walk 1km around the entire stadium just incase we get to near a precious footballer?! Can you imagine the headlines if she, or any other patient, died whilst going the long way round?! Probably not because 'it's not good PR if someone dies at Wembley'

The world has become obsessed with the celebrity culture. These 'role models' that are paid in excess of £100,000 a week (or 5 years wages as I like to call it) to kick a ball around. They are pandered to and yet there are no penalties or changes to their lives for drink driving, racism, violence & sexual assaults. Even on the rare occasion where they go to prison they come straight out back into their highly paid  privileged lifestyle. If the layman commits those crimes the fines and punishments effect them. If I was found guilty of racial abuse the £2500 alone would be a real struggle to pay. I would lose my job and would struggle to find another. If John Terry is found guilty of racism (which I suspect he will be) the fine imposed will be 2 hours 38 minutes wages, he will remain employed on £170,000 a week and will release some kind of sugarcoated statement to appease the masses. No doubt he will still represent our country as a convicted racist. What message does this send out to the youth?! 

The only reason the footballers and celebrities act like they can tread on anyone and do what they want when they want is because our society allows it and panders to it. Until a stand is made nothing will change and we can't really blame anyone but ourselves. I for one will not be working at Wembley again while that Mickey Mouse outfit is running things. 

(Unless of course, I'm offered double pay... slave to the wage and all!)


  1. Another fab blog!! I wonder if somehow we could get this posted on to some footballers accounts and see if they have anything to say??

    1. I wish they would! They would probably get an injunction though!

  2. 2006 Emergency Workers Obstruction Act comes to mind.

    1. It's not the easiest Act to read, but it doesn't seem to apply to private companies: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/39/section/1

    2. Like @Sectioned_ says, private companies have different rules and people dont have the same obligations to them that they have to us!

    3. More generally, Ella, I meant to say that your writing gets better and better: very subtle and sophisticated at the same time as being straight talking. Well done again!

    4. THANK YOU!!!!! So nice to read comments like that. Made my day that did! x

  3. Ella, take up politics! :-)

    1. I don't think they would let me! To many feathers to be ruffled!

  4. All wankers worshipped by the chavs they left behind. Beckham, Terry etc all thick as feck with no morales riding roughshod about society. Football clubs are major money making outfits who will not alter their players ways whilst they bring in the change from the giros in the shellsuited narrow minded supporters pockets. In times like these when NHS and police are being cut back, its scandalous that money from football is not cut back from the obscene amounts they are paid. One final word in my rant to describe them all.....tossers

    1. I HATE John Terry more than anyone in the world. If he wasn't a footballer he'd be a football hooligan. He is a thug, an adulterer and a racist. The money from football should do some good.

  5. I think this is outrageous. I had no idea that all these facilities were in Wembley. I may look to write an article as part of my uni portfolio as a follow up to this if you don't mind? If I get it done and publish anywhere (which is doubtful) then I'll let you know.

    Eye opening and great writing as usual. Well done.

    1. More than welcome to. Wembley has everything. For all intents and purposes it has a fully functioning hospital with all the staff and facilities you could need. If you are just a paying customers you just get patched off and send to an NHS hospital despite the facilities being on site to treat and discharge.


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