The old man (who had been in some pain and discomfort) finally got a bed at ten past five (in the morning), after ten and a half hours wait in the assessment unit, the doctors came around at half five, but decided to let him sleep a bit more, after talking to his wife. The previous evening assessment unit was full at six pm and stayed full until well after eleven pm with some patients temporally bedding down for the night until beds became free. In the dry heat dehydration looked like it was taking a steady toll of the old and not so old. The search for beds (in the large hospital) was pretty much constant with the phones quietly being manned in the background as staff worked hard to match patients with beds. The staff in the assessment unit; were superb, but they all looked tired and run ragged by the heat (along with everyone else). They barely paused quietly moving from one patient to the next, checking on medications, liaising with tired (but young) doctors, who had been on their feet for hours and checking the patients and reassuring relatives. Previously the ambulance arrived just outside its two hour window, the ambulance staff had also looked tired but were incredibly professional and gentle working expertly to move the old man out of the house and into the ambulance, constantly reassuring him and his family. Before that the Doctor once called had been swift and had set the wheels in motion, so that the patient note was ready for collection from the surgery to be taken with the patient to the hospital. Whatever the faults with the NHS and there are more than a few, it’s not the staff, the spirit (of the NHS) may appear weak but the flesh is more than willing.