Henceforth I wish be known as Danger Man. I am also considering submitting a claim for Hazard pay. Strangely this has nothing to do with our practice being engaged under the new(ish) "Violent Patient Scheme" to take on the care of an individual who was known to visit their former practice "tooled up", as I understand the vernacular would have it. No indeed. Under this scheme we are in fact far safer since we will only be seeing this individual under controlled circumstances in a secure room in A&E and with a security presence.
No, my problem is far more prosaic. It all revolves around the luchtime home visits. I've never really considered these a particularly risky part of the job before. There have been a couple of occasions when on a call out to the Chavvier end of town I have warily gripped stethosocpe and script pad a little tighter, but most of the local hard types know full well that I know their mums so that's generally ok. It's the getting to and fro that is now exercising my mind.
In the past two days I have seen five cases of "Whiplash Injury". No not that kind.... the sudden acceleration / deceleration of the neck that goes with a car crash. Since these five people are all unrelated and each involved in a separate RTA on Saturday last that means I know of at least five accidents that day. The local GP community numbers around 23 Docs, so if my experience is not exceptional (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) that makes for around 100 RTA related injuries in and around Ambrige last Saturday. Now granted Saturday was a busier day than average with everyone trying to get the lagers from Tescos before the match, but I suspect it was no more than twice as busy as usual, so 50 injuries might be more representative of a "normal " Saturday.
So hold on a minute, that's maybe twenty five actual accidents. On a Saturday. We all know all the really annoying drivers come out on a Sunday, so logically the accident rate is not likely to be less. Weekdays more people at work during the day so perhaps the daily rate will fall by as much as 50% to say 12 per day. So that's 50 accidents at weekends, another 60 the rest of the week and at least two victims per accident, for a weekly toll of around 200 injuries. Plainly not all are severe, and many may not make it in to surgery or A&E at all making this a conservative estimate to say the least.
And yet, knowing all this, as they must, the PCT expects me to venture into the maelstrom five days a week to tend to the needy.
Lucky I did that Tank Driving course a year or so back. Now then, just how much would a Warrior set me back.....