My Return to St James Hospital, Leeds.


Today I visited St James Hospital in Leeds for the first time since 2014. 

The last time I was here, on ward 20, I was a suspected Ebola patient. 

I went to the hospital today to chat to Andrew Bannister the head of media relations about  Ebola – Behind the Mask. He is going to write an article about the book and my time as a patient on ward 20.

The full story is of course in the book but I would like to say how well I was cared for by everyone involved. Public Health England, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the staff at Jimmys. It was a frightening episode that refocused my thoughts on the patients on Sierra Leone. 

I was transferred from home to St James at 0300 in the morning – two ambulances (in case one broke down) and two police cars ensured an uninterrupted journey. 

There couldn’t be a greater contrast between my journey and that of the patients in Sierra Leone. Due to the failure of the so-called international community there were too few Ebola Management Centres in the region. This left patients crowding into vehicles to then travel 8 hours across the country to get to a facility that could care for them . Imagine being a SUSPECT case in the back of a vehicle where fellow occupants die of Ebola en route. This was a shameful failing on the part of the nations who responded (and self congratulated their response). 

Anyway, stepping off the soap box, I would like to thank those who cared for me and who continue to care for us all in our fantastic National Health Service. 

We are very fortunate.

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