Thursday 25th March 1993 Lunchtime 13:00

“I hope this is an emergency, Mrs Crosby!” My Dad looked angrily at the telephone handset and took another bite of his sandwich.
“It’s more than an emergency, Dr Dennis. I consider it a major incident.”
“You will need to speak to the major incident team, then. Would you like the telephone number?”
“No thank you, Dr Dennis. I am up at the hospital with Mrs Vaughan.”
“Goodness me! I hope she’s alright!”
“Mrs Vaughan is not ill or injured, Dr Dennis. We’ve been called up here. Mr Davies should be arriving at any minute.”
“What’s going on?”
“There are 7 ambulances stuck outside the Emergency Department. They have all got seriously ill patients in who are waiting to be seen. One has been here since 2 o’clock this morning. The Emergency department is jam-packed. There are no medical beds available in the hospital. It’s chaos!”
“I don’t think that . . .”
“A farmer with two broken ankles is being brought in by the fire service. The police have gone to pick up a sick child. The only free ambulance is dealing with a suspected heart attack in Bramwell’s Department Store. Mrs Vaughan wants you to come straight here.”
“I am in the middle of a busy surgery, Mrs Crosby.”
“It is 1 o’clock, Dr Dennis. You invariable stop for lunch at 1 o’clock. I can actually hear you chewing your ham and pickle sandwich.”
“It’s a working lunch.” My Dad sighed. “I’m signing the repeat prescriptions. I have probably got several visits to do when I’ve finished.”
“Dr Lewis has already done the visits. I’ve checked with reception.”
“I am sorry, Mrs Crosby, I really cannot . . .”
“Dr Dennis, I suggest that you come up to the hospital as soon as you have eaten your lunch. I don’t think Mrs Vaughan will tolerate a lack of cooperation on a matter of such importance. She is already in a fiery frame of mind.”

A major incident.