Getting to know James…
What is your role within A&E?
I am one of the consultants in the emergency department. There are 20 of us now.
How long have you worked at St George’s?
I have been at St George’s since 2010, working in Australia before then.
How many patients do you treat in an average day? What conditions / illnesses do they have?
We see around 400 patients a day – Mondays are always the busiest. We see everything from cuts and scrapes to heart attacks, psychiatric problems, sick children and major trauma. We try to direct those in labour to the maternity ward but occasionally the baby comes too quick and we have a birth in the emergency department.
What did you think when they announced ‘24hrs in A&E’ was going to be filmed at St George’s?
I thought it was a really well made programme, really moving and representative of what life in the ED is like. I planned on hiding away from the cameras to be honest but it’s not easy when there’s around 100 of them around the place.
Did you find it had any impact on your day?
I did impact my head quite hard on one of them! (they soon moved that one) It was a bit strange having so many cameras and microphones – quite like the simulation suite we have at St George’s to practice emergencies. This made working in the department feel a bit like one long training course for a few weeks.
What have you enjoyed the most from your experience of ‘24hrs in A&E’?
It has been a good morale boost for the department and really moving to see why colleagues went into medicine or nursing. I most enjoy seeing what patients are chatting about in the waiting room.
What is your highlight moment of the series?
The dedication to helping others and expertise in ice-creams and bacon sandwiches of the people who work here is really impressive.
What was the biggest challenge you experienced during the filming?
Working in the ED is always challenging and keeps you on your toes. In such a big department there is always something else that you should be aware of or someone that needs extra attention. That doesn’t change whether there are cameras or not.
What is the benefit of St George’s participating in a show like ‘24hrs in A&E’?
‘24 Hours in A&E’ highlights the fact that really excellent care is available to everyone free at the point of need. This is true all across the NHS, it’s great to have something that shows that. The NHS may be stretched but it still really works.
What do you think about the reaction to the new series so far?
The staff here have loved seeing all our colleagues in action, and even learnt new things about each other in the process. Apparently it is also watched by some people who don’t work here.
Is there anything that was or wasn’t caught on camera which you wish wasn’t or was?
Ask me after I’ve seen the programme – I’ll be watching it from behind the sofa.