Cycling Nurses Help Thwart Hospitalisation

Surely there are places in the UK that could copy this: Cycling Nurses Help Thwart Hospitalisation. You would think that proven cost savings would be popular with UK hospital trusts.

I love that this is good in so many ways:

  • Good for the patients, they get better service at home without the stress and risks of hospital visits.
  • Good for the environment (smaller hospitals, much less driving)
  • Good for the nurses (exercise, more quality time with patients)
  • Good for all (sustainable, human scale, community building)
  • Good for the hospital (cheaper and better performance)

Extending the idea a little. There are many self employed people who work by visiting people (particularly the elderly) in their homes (hairdressers, chiropodists, cleaners). Many of these do not need to carry heavy loads or collect heavy supplies for the customer (like decorators, plumbers etc).

Calculations show that a huge number of the hours that we work are simply used to pay for the cars we drive. Therefore in a reasonably flat and densely populated area cycling between clients might well result in increased profit even with fewer clients.

3 thoughts on “Cycling Nurses Help Thwart Hospitalisation

  1. John

    I’ve heard of cycling (well, motorcycling) parademics becoming very successful in Rio De Janiero, able to reduce response time to a car crash by a third.

    Reply
  2. Methodist Preacher

    It may come as a surprise but many British hospital trusts are well ahead of the game in terms of using outreach workers to support recovering patients at home, rather than keep them in expensive hospital beds.
    For too long people were kept in hospital for very basic after care and observation when there were others queing for hospital beds – a shortage of recovery beds being a major obstacle to elective surgery.
    All the evidence suggests, that with some very important exceptions, patients prefer to be home as quickly as possible. It is far less tiring on the relatives, especially older spouses. Its also safer by reducing the risk of MRSA and other infections.
    I appreciate your point about cycling being good for the health of the nurses and environment. This may work in parts of Copenhagen where it is safe and the land level. It Britain we have a different topology and cycling may not always be so easy.
    In many city areas there are issues about safety: some people assume that medics carry a supply of drugs or other high small high value items, making them a target for theft and assualt. I think the areas would have to be carefully chosen.
    There is another issue – many of the nurses undertaking specialist after care are well trained, very experienced and therefore comparitively well paid. Do we really want to pay people £30,000 a year and then expect them to spend a large proportion of their time travelling from job to job? And what happens when it tips down with rain?
    Otherwise a great idea.

    Reply
  3. Dave Warnock

    David,
    Certainly this is not for the whole of the UK but (for examples) Cambridge, Peterborough, York, Milton Keynes and much of London would be entirely suitable. Don’t forget Copenhagen is considerably further North, they know all about cycling in the rain and snow.
    I guess some of the drugs and security issues have already been tackled by the cycling paramedics which are already in place in a number of British cities.
    Yes, we absolutely must get expensive highly trained specialists such as nurses cycling. It is essential for the future mobility of our cities. In many places they will be able to provide a faster service than cars (just review the years of races across London. Cyclists are always much faster than cars).
    As for the rain I am tempted to suggest we buy the nurses uniforms from Ann Summers, rain would be no problem although the blood pressure of some male patients might be.
    Seriously, rain is a sorted issue in places with a cycling culture such as Denmark and Netherlands. Huge advances have been made in recent years in warm/dry/breathable clothing.

    Reply

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