Dads, this is your time. Your time to find the inner Rambo, the inner James Bond and dare I say it, the inner Jack Bauer… It’s vital that you go on a reconnaissance mission. You’ll need to go under the cover of darkness and get one of those ‘coms’ units for your ear. Grab the building schematics and heat sensor map to identify any hostiles. With a bit of luck, Chloe O’brien might be on the line talking you through your mission. Watch out for the Russians and the Chinese and, in particular any scousers. (Obviously, this is just based on 24…there’s no truth!) This would be great if it were the case, but sadly, it’s not. Well, a reconnaissance mission is, but not to this calibre. It was advised that when you’re expecting, you should go and recci the hospital before you actually have to go there. You need to know where to park, where the drop off zone is, where the network of mutely decorated corridors lead to, how much the car park is, which ward do you need to get to? And all of this information is generally necessary when you have a screaming wife in a lot of pain. See, I can see you thinking that this is worth reading after all… and a reconnaissance mission is worth it! We went on ours recently and this is what we saw… This will probably be more helpful for those using the Tunbridge Wells & Maidstone Trust Hospital.
This is what we saw first. A huge sign telling us where the drop off point is. You wouldn’t believe how remarkably deceptive and tricky to find this sign is.
Awaiting us were these 2 signs. It’s tricky to read, but it says that you have 10 minutes to ‘drop off’ and then you get charged £30… with all due respect (which I’ve found, generally means you have no respect) how is a dad supposed to take his heavily labouring wife up 2 floors in the slow lifts, find the triage, find out what’s going on and then make it back down to the drop off zone in time for the 10 minute limit? Let alone those people who walk into hospital and have to start pushing straight away! Dad’s hardly going to pop down to move the car to avoid a £30 fine!
Please wait a sec whilst I pop my soap box to one side…
Then, rather amusingly we saw this buzzer and sign tucked away underneath a small tunnel type area, but instead of buzzing, we just opened the unlocked door and walked straight through. High security; I think not!
You then find these pretty useful signs. The lime green is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise white washed hospital walls and I especially like the laminated addition; they have even changed the font from Times New Roman! The NHS have spent millions on a brand new hospital and yet they’re still resorting to a laminator to address the oversights. I found this especially amusing as maternity triage is the first place you need to go when you’re having a baby…
This, however, was useful and I definitely suggest going to check out where you need to go before you actually need to go there. Your partner will thank you as well!