We don't want to see you this Christmas!

With the festive party season set to get into full swing, and family and friends looking forward to celebrating Christmas together, there's one group of people who don't want to see Norfolk residents this Christmas.

This isn't due to a lack of festive spirit however, but due to the fact that those individuals are NHS healthcare professionals – the very people who had to deal with the nine individuals who died, and the further fifty-five individuals who were seriously injured, on Norfolk’s roads last Christmas.

In order to see this figure fall this Christmas, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Accident and Emergency Consultant, Mr Keith Walters, will be on hand at the hospital this Friday to lend his voice to the launch of the Norfolk Road Casualty Reduction Partnership's festive anti drink-drive campaign.

The Partnership consists of Norfolk County Council – via the Road Safety Unit and Fire and Rescue Service, Norfolk Constabulary, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, East Anglian Ambulance Service, Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership and the Highways Agency – many organisations whose own members of staff have to deal with the direct response of drink drive related incidents.

A&E consultant Mr Keith Walters said: “People who drink and drive give no thought to the horrific damage they can do to their own bodies and all too often to innocent bystanders. NHS staff end up dealing with the aftermath of drink driving and trying to repair the physical, and psychological damage caused by a moment's stupidity.”

In fact, in a hypothetical example of a patient having broken bones (orthopaedics) and a serious chest injury (thoracics) as a result of a drink drive related collision, some 57 NHS professionals would be involved in the care of that person, and that doesn’t include the mortuary technicians and the bereavement officers who are also involved, should that person die.

Nor does it include the Police Officers, and Fire Officers, who are involved at the scene of the collision. Two of which will also be available on Friday morning.

Specifically, our example individual would be treated by:

Ambulance control room = call taker x1.

Emergency ambulance crew = paramedic x1, technician x1.

Accident and Emergency = A&E nurses x3, A&E doctors x3, A&E healthcare assistant x1, A&E porter x1.

Radiology = CT scan, diagnostic radiographers x2, consultant radiologist x1, specialist registrar x1.

Chemical Pathology = Blood tests, pathology receptionist x1, pathology support worker x1, biomedical scientists x2

Emergency Theatre = surgeons x4 (thoracic + orthopaedic surgeons), anaesthetists x2, theatre scrub nurses x2, operating department practitioners x2, theatre porter x2.

Sterile Services Department = sterile service operatives preparing up to 18 sets of surgical instruments x2

Blood Bank = pathology support worker x1, biomedical scientists x2

Critical Care team = nurse x1, consultant x1, junior doctor x1, dietician x1, pharmacist x1, radiographer x1, physiotherapist x1, plaster technician x1

Ward team = nurse x1, healthcare assistant x1, consultant x1, junior doctors x2, occupational therapist x1, physiotherapist x1, dietician x1, chaplain x1

Community team = GP x1, district nurse x1, community physiotherapist x1, community occupational therapist x1

Total = 57 professionals.

Whilst price clearly cannot be placed on a life, the monetary cost to local NHS services of every life lost through a road traffic collision is £100,000 or more.

The festive anti drink-drive campaign will begin this Friday, with bus, newspaper, radio, and on-street advertising – calling upon residents to consider the alternative ways they will get home this Christmas, if they know there is a possibility they will be out drinking.

Guy McCurley, Chairman of the Norfolk Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, said: “Members of the Partnership hope residents have a fantastic Christmas, and enjoy themselves at parties and social events right throughout the festive season.

“But we are desperately calling on everyone to consider the alternatives of how to get home if they know they may be out drinking that day.

“Please think of the impact you can have on your family, friends, and loved ones if you consider getting in your car if you’ve been drinking alcohol, or if you get in a car with a driver who has been drinking alcohol. The same applies to motorcycles.

“A good time does not involve you putting yourself, your friends, or your family at risk. Nor an innocent bystander.

“Find an alternative way home this Christmas season.”

Norfolk Constabulary continues to operate its drink-drive freephone hotline this festive period – 0800 835835, which enables concerned members of the public to report people they suspect are drinking and driving directly to police officers.


Friday 21st of November 2008 10:00:19 AM