Tag Archive: Emergency

Leeds doctor shares a secret spy’s insight into life on the emergency ward

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999’s answer to 007

After last week’s demonstrations in Leeds against NHS reforms, one of the biggest protests the city has seen in years, thousands of people took to the streets.

We caught up with a Leeds doctor to see what his thoughts were on the state of the NHS; discover how he deals with the trauma of patients who never make a full recovery and hear about the story of a little boy who left a big impression.

As a child, Faraaz Bhatti, aged 30, wanted to be James Bond. After “working solidly at school” he is now a doctor in a busy Emergency department - which is about as high-adrenalin as a job gets: shifts often leave him like both of the verbs in James Bond’s martini order - ‘shaken and stirred’.

Dr Bhatti admits that he was drawn into the world of medicine after watching BBC hit show Casualty and is now fully committed to a lifetime of scrubs and rubber gloves.

He says he now has high hopes that the NHS will “weather the storm it is currently raging”.

Dr Bhatti explains: “We see politicians play politics with the NHS far too often and it casts a shadow on a service that otherwise does so much for everyone, no matter who they are and regardless of their financial circumstances.

“It is something that we should be proud of, and although we are seeing dramatic changes such as hospital closures, contract revisions – the NHS will live on. I would hope to see a stronger NHS in ten years from now – but in order to achieve that I think we all have a responsibility, including the public, to help our politicians understand that the NHS is not a political bargaining tool.”

For Dr Bhatti, working as an Emergency Medicine Registrar, often means his shift pattern varies.

“I may be working days, evenings, nights or weekends and - believe it or not - my rota does stretch over seven days a week,” he continues.

“The minute I enter work, I pick up my first patient and patients continually book into the Emergency Department throughout the day. Somewhere half way through the day, I’ll take a short break and then carry on.

“After all, Emergency Medicine is a team effort, and everyone has to pull their weight and more in order to keep the department running as smoothly as it does.”

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Every doctor has a patient that lingers in the memory, and Dr Bhatti is no different.

He recalls: “A number of years ago, I was diagnosing a young child – he was about four years old. He had come to see me with his mum...A very quiet kid.

“After the consultation, as he was walking towards the door, he turned around, ran across the room and gave me a big hug. His mum said that she had never seen him do that with anyone before.”

Dr Bhatti continued: “I think that moment highlights what being a doctor is all about. It is less about saving lives – although, we do that; but more about making a difference. I did very little for that child, and whilst he may not remember what he did in a few year’s time, it is a moment that will stick in my mind for the rest of my career.”

As a doctor on the Emergency Department, Dr Bhatti encounters sick patients every day.

He has had to develop “coping mechanisms” to deal with what he sees.

“Some of them get better, and some don’t,” Dr Bhatti adds quietly.

Dr Bhatti realises he is in a privileged position - being at the side of patients in their hour of need –and understands that his job comes with a “professional responsibility” to give the best care to those in his care.

“I think that we need to have an element of distance from an emotional aspect in order to deliver that care” he says. “I believe that a doctor-patient relationship is very different from what it used to be many years ago. However, it is when patients need us the most that we need to remain objective.

“It is possible to not get emotionally involved. That is not to say that at the end of a hard shift, some of the day doesn’t go home with us. After all, doctors are human.”

So what advice does Dr Bhatti have for people who have a keen desire to be a doctor themselves?

“If you have a dream, stick with it. Believe in yourself and work hard to make it happen. It is not easy becoming a doctor and it is much more difficult working as one if it is not something that you want to really do.”

He adds: “The commitment is life-long and the journey is tough but by the end, you have a sense of achievement that very few careers could give you. The bottom line is that if you want something, whether it is medicine or otherwise, you can work hard to achieve it. Just be prepared to put in some hard graft, and the rest will fall into place.”


A doctor in emergency medicine gives his views on the junior doctor strike

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EDUCATOR: Dr Bhatti talks to students at Wolverhampton Grammar School

EDUCATOR: Dr Bhatti talks to students at Wolverhampton Grammar School

Listen and do no harm

Dr Faraaz Bhatti, from Telford, is a medical doctor in Emergency Medicine. He works in a busy city Emergency Department.

Dr Bhatti has chosen The Asian Express to exclusively talk about the junior doctor strikes.

He said: "This is my quick analysis from the front line. I am a doctor in Emergency Medicine and like my colleagues I want a secure future for the best healthcare service in the world: the NHS.

“Let's go to the very beginning of this dispute. There are over 50,000 junior doctors in England who have found themselves caught in the middle of cross-fire between the government and the British Medical Association.

“On one side, Jeremy Hunt has been trying his best to enforce his Party's flawed agenda on a ‘7 day service’ by pushing a very unpopular contract on doctors.

“Opposing his dangerous stance, the British Medical Association has pushed for patient safety, fairness and common sense.

“The BMA are backed by junior doctors throughout the country who feel passionate about an issue that has far-reaching consequences beyond what it may seem.

“After months of negotiation and re-negotiation, the government has opted to impose an unsafe contract which may send hundreds - if not thousands - of doctors flocking to the Southern Hemisphere.

“After years of very expensive training, the government is devaluing a workforce that has only one agenda: patient-centred care.

“My colleagues have maintained that they strike for the NHS and for better working conditions and many feel forced to leave a system encouraging low morale with other countries keen on capitalising on this.

“Does the government's stubborn stance really make sense?

“With over 60 per cent of the public supporting doctors in a recent poll we can see that doctors have the public support.

“A service born in 1948 is under clear threat from a government that doesn't understand what it is like on the ground, doesn't understand medical staffing rotas and doesn't have the same agenda as doctors do.

“We are now seeing doctors demonstrating on an unprecedented scale for patient safety and fairness. Is it too much to ask?

“Do doctors want to strike? Not at all. Doctors would like the government to open its eyes, see common sense and start working for the public as elected.

“Unfair contracts which are unsafe, low morale and a leadership that isn't listening to the country's medical professionals is a certain way to harm, not improve, the health service.

“My message to the government: start listening to over 50,000 professionals who work all days and nights of the week with the public, for the public. Listen and do no harm."


Crisis and closures on the cards for hospitals

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UNDER PRESSURE: A&Es across the UK are struggling to keep up with the amount of patients coming through their doors

UNDER PRESSURE: A&Es across the UK are struggling to keep up with the amount of patients coming through their doors

Accident and Emergency units ‘on the edge’

NHS bosses are warning that hospitals are being pushed to the limits after a ‘sharp rise’ in demand for A&E units is causing real problems.

Research from the BBC showed that some NHS trusts have even had to take extreme measures to cope with the ‘exceptional’ pressures.

All routine operations were cancelled at one hospital, while another was considering resorting to setting up a temporary treatment area in a tent.

Forty-five temporary closures of A&E units have occurred over the past fortnight, up 50 per cent on the same period last year.

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner revealed that the closure of Huddersfield’s A&E could lead to an extra 157 deaths a year.

Huddersfield and Colne Valley MPs, Barry Sheerman and Jason McCartney have voiced their concerns to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, urging him to block a hospital shake-up plan.

The letter signed by both MPs says: “According to one analysis we have seen, the decision to close our A&E would make Huddersfield the largest town or city not to have a major A&E within five miles.

“The situation will be made even worse if Dewsbury loses its A&E, which is another likely possibility.”

The official Commons letter says: “It is a scandal that Huddersfield looks set to lose its A&E service because of this terrible deal, especially since our own hospital, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI), did not accrue this burden of debt.

“It is wrong to ask the people of Huddersfield to bail out a debt that historically has nothing to do with the town.

“Everyone understands that financial considerations are very important, but ultimately healthcare outcomes and patient safety have to come first.”

The number of patients visiting A&Es in England spiked by 20,000 last week to nearly 340,000, which is much higher than the average for winter.

Hospital bosses are also reporting problems discharging patients.

NHS England's Richard Barker told the BBC that the recent bad weather was likely to have contributed to the ‘sharp rise’ in A&E visits.

“The pressures remain very real. We don't expect those to abate in the run-up to spring,” he added.