11th Apr, 2021

Experience has Norman singing hospitals’ praises

Ross Crawford 26th Feb, 2020

FOR Norman Wheatley, Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital will always be lifesavers – no matter what the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says.

Battered by the latest CQC report, which rated gave the Emergency Departments at both hospitals an ‘Inadequate’ rating following an unannounced inspection in December lat week Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week.

However folk musician Norman and his Vivien from Oakenshaw will always be in the debt of the West Midlands Ambulance Service crew and A&E staff when Norman collapsed ine Friday morning 18 months ago.

“I’d got up and was on my way to the bathroom when I collapsed in a heap on the floor,” said Norman, aged 68.

“My other half dialed 999 and the ambulance crew, who were at McDonald’s island, were here within five minutes.”

Norman had suffered a ‘myocardial infarction’ a heart attack brought on by a blood clot which had travelled through an artery into his heart.

“The ambulance crew knew immediately what had happened and what to do, they rang Worcester, for that’s the place to go for heart trouble, and we were off,” he said.

“On arrival I was instantly into the treatment room, they inserted a line into my arm and sent a balloon up an artery to remove the blockage and that was it, job done.

“I genuinely thought as I lay there on the landing ‘this is not the way I want to go, this is not my moment’ and so it proved thanks to the wonderful hospital and ambulance staff we have.”

Norman, who survived pancreatic cancer five years ago, and is a leading figure at Warwick Folk Club, was monitored for 48 hours before returning home.

Sessions at the Alex followed to make sure his recovery was on track which it was.

“The ambulance crew were beyond exemplary, a quick diagnosis and down the stairs and into the back of the ambulance in a shot,” said Norman.

“I couldn’t fault the staff at the Royal either – these people work in incredibly tough conditions yet they couldn’t have been nicer and the staff at the Alex were brilliant too.

“I just feel with all this negative publicity going around about our hospitals that these people do not get the praise they deserve.”

The CQC report highlighted overcrowding in Accident & Emergency, waits of more than three hours for ambulance crews to hand patients over and not referred to specialists or onward care fast enough.

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