The Cheltonian > Articles

The Pigeon

A little bird tells me...

Cheltenham folk are a little confused by recent changes regarding patients at Cheltenham General Hospital. So as a life-long supporter of the National Health, I have been flying around in an attempt to sort out some arising urban myths of births and babies. The move of the medical side of Cheltenham’s maternity services left has the town’s expectant mums having to waddle over to Gloucestershire Royal for the birth of baby Shane or Madonna.

The Women’s Centre was built there to bring everything under one roof (medical equipment, specialists, doctors and nursing staff) - a total service for mother and child. Those Cheltenham fathers-to-be, worried at the thought of having to battle through rush hour and Gloucester city traffic (with a leaking wife yelling at every holdup For God’s Sake Hurry Up! - or words to that effect) there is a midwife-led unit at Cheltenham General less pain relief perhaps, but certainly less pressure for the designated driver.

Different strokes
Anyone unfortunate enough to suffer a stroke in the borough will be automatically blue-lighted to the Gloucestershire Royal Stroke Unit for treatment by the multi-disciplinary stroke team. Specialist stroke doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and psychologists are all on hand, even if you collapse in Cheltenham’s College Road, you will be whisked away to GRH for speedy
treatment. Research shows good reason for it – patients are more likely to survive the stroke, have fewer disabilities and be able to live independently, if treated by a specialist stroke unit. With such facts as these, how can one argue otherwise?

Overnight Emergency
Folk have raised concerns A&E might soon close at Cheltenham due to some night time casualties now having to be taken to Gloucester A&E for treatment. This is definitely not the case. Cheltenham A&E will remain open for major incidents daily between 8am and 8pm. Outside these hours there will still be emergency care service provided by Nurse Practitioners to look after little Johnny’s strained ankle or Jennifer’s cut finger, plus simple wounds and minor factures. Anybody with critical problems will be taken by ambulance direct to Gloucestershire Royal. This new system has been implemented due to a lack of emergency medical doctors. Facts show an insufficient number of such doctors are in training to fill current casualty posts and it appears this will not be resolved before 2020 hence the new arrangements. But the Pigeon has been assured that Cheltenham’s A&E is here to stay. As to the questions over getting home again, quite honestly they could drive me to Timbuktu or along the road to Mandalay, as long as they aid my recovery and I would gladly pay the taxi fare back to Cheltenham!

Pigeon Clawnote. One morning a Cheltenham friend on setting off to work in his van, left overnight with ladders lashed to the roof rack, found as he opened the door a sheet of paper flutter onto the kerb. On inspection he saw stapled to the paper was £5 note with a message said, ‘Last night I found I had locked myself out of the house, I am sorry to say I borrowed ladders off your van to get back in. Please accept the enclosed fiver in grateful thanks. Signed. A.’ Now that’s some cool bird!