What really happens when Boris Johnson visits an NHS hospital on the campaign trail.
u/KamikazeChief • 21h
I am an NHS doctor and Boris Johnson visited my hospital recently.
We were only told on the day for security reasons. They painted the ward I work on. We were asked to hide dirty laundry Cleaners were sent out into the car park, on a rainy cold day picking leaves off the ground. We were told he was going to use our acute area as a “meet and greet”
Then we were asked if we wanted to meet him. Every doctor in the hospital said no. They could not find a single consultant who was willing to meet him. The consultant who was on the rota for the day was not there and the rumour on the ground was that he had said he would not let Johnson onto the ward. Instead, the on call consultant was replaced with another consultant, one high up in management. He was also trying to do a ward round and see newly admitted, acutely unwell patients.
There were more management and executives than I’d ever seen. There were young men in expensive suits, looking around themselves at us like tourists on safari. In the end, a handful of people agreed to meet him. One allied healthcare professional was so angry at his presence she could not stop shaking, but wanted to let him know how unhappy she was. There was also a nurse who didn’t follow politics and didn’t really understand what the fuss was about There was one healthcare assistant who was very excited he was there because she had seen his dad on I’m a Celebrity get me out or here. She didn’t know exactly who he was but she loved his dad and wanted a selfie. There was a photo of that which made the papers. Hers was the sole smile I saw that day.
The atmosphere was tense and unpleasant. Furious and sullen. Myself and two nurses were trying to see patients whilst hiding in rooms so we wouldn’t meet him by accident. I could feel my ability to safely see extremely unwell patients was slipping – both by the physical space invaded. the wet painted walls, his enormous entourage, but also at the stress of our hospital being visited by the very people who had caused us such damage.
It was like being visited at home by your abusive boyfriend, asking “what can I do to help?”
A number of people staff and patients were hanging around the entrance to see him arrive, but he was brought in quietly through a side door. He did not meet anyone other than people who had been seen by his team first.
There were some boos, and some people turned their backs. One member of stall dropped her glasses on the floor to avoid shaking his hand. Every patient I saw that day told me to keep him away from them. “I’d give him a slap.” “Kick him out the hospital!” Showing me texts from their relatives, after they’d told them he was here: “Tell him he’s a ****r”. This is a northern Leave town.
Then there were staged photos. Someone prepared some tea and it sat there until it was cold. Then Johnson pretended to make it and poured it out for the staff who were obliged to drink cold tea while they took photos of Johnson serving them.
There were two very large men in scrubs who no one had seen before, standing around crossarmed. One of the nurses asked who they were “We are anaesthetists.” I don’t know. Maybe they were anaesthetists we’d never met before. I’d have asked for an ID badge if I’d seen them.
The hospital has been asking for funding to move one ward to a better location for over 5 years. This has been constantly refused by the conservative government. On this day it was granted. More photos.
It was a busy shift. A&E ran out of beds, as usual. and I dash past sick 90 year olds waiting on trolleys in corridors on my way to resus to see the sickest It’s not yet winter, but in the NHS, it’s always winter now
He left eventually, with all his suited sycophants_ and we tried to pick up the pieces of the shift. Some staff almost too angry to work. I recall the impotent shaking fury of a friend of mine, a nurse, with white paint on his arm where he’d accidentally knocked a freshly painted wall. Sick patients hadn’t properly been reviewed with the distraction, and the numbers from A&E were piling in.
I had a blinding headache and felt rattled. It was probably midday the next day before flow calmed a bit. I worked 12 hours that day and the next and the next A nearby hospital went on divert on one of those days – too overwhelmed to be able to take new patients. so they were sent to us Again the rammed corridors of the sick and the old_ left in corridors when we don’t even have bed space to see them in The queueing ambulances outside waiting for someone free to handover to Hospitals on divert has happened with terrible frequency over recent years in the winter and is always very unsafe. It is not typical for November.
The Chief executive apologised to me for how hard the day had been and acknowledgedour fury but said the most important thing was that they had been allowed their funding, after all this time. I said “Thank you for the crumbs” He said “That’s electioneering
There was some talk of voting afterwards, and making sure everyone was registered to vote. What else can we do?
This was posted yesterday on Twitter. The NHS doctor who wrote it stayed anonymous. Wouldn’t you?