Thursday 14 January 2016

Lit Ward 10 - the latest outcomes for Literature Therapy.

The chief exec of Storyville Hospital was in a tizzy. The Minister for Health had been admitted to A&E with cuts and bruises and a dislocated finger. Eye witnesses had confirmed that he had had a nasty fall from a window. 

Someone on Twitter had suggested that junior doctors had pushed him but they were soon silenced by common-sense. No doctor would behave in such a loutish manner off the rugby field and obviously none would wish to create more work for themselves. Especially on a Friday afternoon which, as everybody knows, is just before A&E gets horribly busy. 

The minister’s memory seemed rather patchy – he couldn’t remember the incident and neither could he recall having been in the House of Commons for several important debates. He also seemed to be displaying some delusional behaviour. It was deemed that he should be admitted for observations.

A brain scan revealed an alarming absence of brain but no other defects therefore the neurological team argued they couldn’t admit him to their ward as there was nothing to work with and the psych team felt his presence on their ward would cause serious problems so Dr Read was persuaded to admit him to Lit Ward 10 where he had had a good night’s sleep and was now ready for Lit Therapy.

Nurse Gorgeous had to think hard. A book that would keep the minister busy and out of harm’s way while helping him become a better person. She hefted Middlemarch and Bleak House off the shelf and took them to the side room. They should keep him out of mischief for a while. Possibly months or even years. Doctor Read would ensure he had to take time off work too after he had been discharged.

They had put him in side room because Lit Ward 10 was exceedingly busy and the sight of him might have resulted in the resuscitation team being called to several other patients. Nurse Gorgeous made him a nice cup of tea and set it on his bedside table and adjusted his reading lamp. She went back the nursing station where a nurse said she’d just had her five-minute meal break and had logged on to Twitter. There were pictures of the Minister for Health flying through the air having fallen from his Ivory Tower.

He had fallen on a group of American tourists and while he was hardly hurt, two of them were also admitted A&E. (They had praised the NHS for the courteous and timely treatment allowing them to resume their holiday, albeit one with his arm in plaster, without delay.)

Nurse carried out a swift ward round. Dr Read was run off his feet – yes, he, a consultant, was working this weekend. A large number of people had been admitted with high blood pressure having read ridiculous newspaper accounts about the junior doctors’ dispute. The incinerator was going full blast burning copies of papers and magazines that distorted the facts. At one point Nurse Gorgeous had had to administer to Dr de Licious after he read the idiotic claims of junior doctors doing nothing but swigging champagne and having the audacity to take foreign holidays. Like a number of doctors, he volunteered in third world countries and had set up Lit wards all over the place to great acclaim.

Luckily most of the patients admitted that weekend were able to go home within a matter of hours with normal blood pressure after some restorative reading. None of them died even though it was the weekend. Nurse Gorgeous thought it wise to lock away murder mysteries in case it gave people ideas and all references to Guy Fawkes and blowing up of Houses of Parliament were removed from the reading material. 

Comedy novels were in high demand. Several had asked for The Confederacy of Dunces under the mistaken impression that it was about MPs, but they enjoyed it anyway. Numerous copies of Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, an apposite choice, was devoured within hours, closely followed by Vile Bodies. Again, a few patients thought this was referring to members of the government. Catch-22 was another popular choice. The only unfortunate incident was a patient who laughed so much at the antics of Three Men in A Boat that he burst his stitches. He was just out of surgery and was full of praise for all the doctors and nurses. When he read scurrilous claims about the NHS in a rag he was so upset that his pulse went wild. Reading restored it to normal and Dr de Licious managed to sew him back up while Nurse Gorgeous read out some of the lovely cards they had received from former patients.

Lit Ward 10’s outcomes for the week were all excellent. The chief exec was happy even though the side room would be occupied for some time. Once again, Lit Therapy had triumphed.