"“Did you have a good time then?”"
About: John Radcliffe Hospital John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford OX3 9DU
“What, in A&E!” was my startled response when the taxi driver taking me home in the early hours of the morning asked me if I had enjoyed my night out. I had arrived in an ambulance knowing there was always the possibility of it being a one-way trip, so it took me some time to realise the taxi driver thought A&E had been the last stop in a night on the town. Single and female I may be, but young and the worse for wear for alcohol I certainly was not. It was unsettling, being taken via a cashpoint to get the means to pay. (Why don’t taxis picking up a fare from a hospital accept cards? Not many people are going to ask an emergency ambulance to stop at a bank so that, if investigations and treatment turn out well, they can get back home.) That, however, was the only negative aspect of the experience - apart from the chest pain which had set off the whole chain of events in the first place. Everyone in A&E was brilliant: staff so professional, quietly getting on with their jobs, whatever the pressure, and respectful of everyone around; likewise the patients and accompanying families. If I may single out any of the staff for especial praise, it would be the ambulance crew and the military nurse on duty. I felt in very safe hands. The only improvement I would suggest: at the exit, install a phone line to a taxi firm which will take prepayment on a fixed-rate tariff before a cab arrives.