05/02/2016

Life After the Floods 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A month on, and the floods which raged through many of the UK's towns and cities seems a life time ago. Joe Hearle examines the impact this had, and is still having, on the health services of the effected areas. 
For most students the Christmas break involved avoiding studying, eating veg for the first time in months and starting 2016 with a sore head. But for those who headed back to Cumbria, the story could not have been any more different.
 
Storm Desmond flooded nearly 5000 homes across the county, leaving many thousands of people homeless - even causing a single fatality. The most severely affected areas included Glenridding, Keswick and Appleby, all of which were repeatedly flooded throughout December.
 
The impact of the floods extended far beyond collapsed bridges and abandoned homes. The NHS was stretched beyond the normal influx of respiratory disease and winter falls, as the few services that remained open were inundated with patients unable to access their regular service.
 
NHS staff showed commitment to maintain services throughout the disaster. Amazingly, Glenridding Health Centre was able to keep its doors open. Mountain Rescue brought in doctors and medical supplies were shipped in – literally! A staff Christmas party was relocated to the Hebron Church where they volunteered to aid those in need of food and shelter.
 
Perhaps more impressive than these individual acts of heroism has been the recovery process across the entire region. No more than eight weeks after the floods and already services have been restored as before and, at least for the majority of the public, the tragedies have been long forgotten.
 
Joe Hearle, Online Editor, MBBS Year 2