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Opinion : Booker helicopter crash shows why Wycombe Hospital should have A&E Department

| May 9, 2017

Wycombe is a big town with many facilities, some of which involve an element of danger.

As we all know the stretch of the M40 that runs through Wycombe is always beset with accidents.

A railway line also passes through the town with trains travelling at up to 100mph on certain stretches of the line.

To the west of the town is the aerodrome, which has in excess of 90,000 aircraft movements per year.

No matter how many safety measures are in place with so many facilities in and around Wycombe there is always the chance of an accident or the unforeseen happening.

Sadly last Friday, 5th May 2017, a helicopter crash occurred at Wycombe Air Park and several people were injured, one of whom suffered life threatening injuries.

Despite Wycombe having a population of circa 125,000 people quite ridiculously the local hospital does not have an Accident and Emergency department.

Those injured in the helicopter crash had to be taken to a hospital around 25 miles away in Oxford.

Luckily Wycombe does have an ambulance station however to get a patient from the aerodrome to the hospital in Oxford the ambulance would have needed to travel along Cressex Road to the aerodrome to pick up the patient.

It would then need to get to the M40 by travelling all the way back along Cressex Road to get to Handy Cross. Once on the Motorway the ambulance would pass under the bridge at the end of Cressex Road returning almost to the same position from where it had just come.

Surely injured patients need to get to hospital as quickly as possible without being taken on a joy ride around the roads of the town only to pass by the place where their journey started?

If the hospital in Wycombe town centre had an A&E department patients could be taken straight to hospital.

Wycombe Hospital does have a Minor Injures and Illnesses Unit (MIIU) though. However sadly it’s not able to deal with the aftermath of a helicopter crash at one of the countries busiest aerodromes.

According to a leaflet published on the internet giving details of the MIIU it is for :

  • A twisted ankle.
  • Children’s cuts and bumps.
  • Deep splinters which can’t be removed at home.
  • Bites and stings that look red and infected.

However the MIIU is not for broken bones or if someone has swallowed a harmful substance, has trouble breathing or is vomiting.

So if a child has cut themselves playing and their mummy is not around to apply a sticking plaster they can be taken to the MIIU. Great!

Quite honestly my good self is left wondering what is the point of the MIIU. The money wasted on the service could be put towards a fully fledged A&E department at the hospital.

Incidental did you know that to obtain the Scouts Emergency Aid Staged Activity Badge at Stage 5 you need to explain how you help someone who :

  • Is unconscious.
  • Is unconscious and not breathing.
  • Is bleeding.
  • Has a burn.
  • Has heat exhaustion.
  • Has hypothermia.
  • Is choking.
  • Is having an asthma attack.
  • Is having a heart attack.
  • Has a head injury.
  • Has a suspected spinal injury.
  • Has a broken bone.
  • Has a sprain or strain.
  • Has meningitis.
  • Is having a stroke.
  • Is experiencing a diabetic emergency.
  • Is having a severe allergic reaction.
  • Is having a seizure.

Amazing! A boy scout has been informed of how to deal with a more varied array of medical situations and emergencies than a MIIU. Of course your humble servant should make it clear that you should always call 999 or go to an A&E department rather than nipping off to the nearest scout hut if you are injured.

Let’s be honest, a town like Wycombe needs a fully functioning A&E department. The fact that our town does not have one is a scandal.

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivor.wycombe or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ivor_Wycombe.

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