Newest Review: ... especially as their opening hours are longer and more convenient. I have been on two separate occasions, and have also been with someon... more
Does NHS stand for Nice Helpful Staff?
NHS Walk In Centre
Member Name: Ostinato
NHS Walk In Centre
Advantages: Fantastic service, well looked after, prompt and efficient staff
Disadvantages: Had to wait for a bit, but not as long as I was expecting!
On Thursday evening, I had the very painful experience of falling over and landing knee cap down on a concrete sleeping policeman, (no I wasn't drunk, it was dark and I tripped!) Typical, I landed on the knee with an old skiing injury, so it's not the stronger of my two, and I grazed my knee through my jeans which wasn't very helpful at all!
All weekend I've been hobbling about saying things like, "If it doesn't get better/if the swelling doesn't go down/if I still can't straighten it or put full pressure on it I'll get it looked at one Monday"...with the hope that it would all heal nicely and I could carry on as normal!
So, Monday is here, and it's not any better, in fact it's worse, with a beautiful black and purple bruise and swelling, and I still can't straighten my leg...
The thought of heading down to the local A&E fills me with dread. I do kind of work with the it's not an emergency, it can wait, and therefore I'm going to be stuck there for hours to be potentially told to rest it and it'll be fine, which is frustrating, for me and the staff I imagine! I've also been on the other side and rushed in as an emergency on more than a few occasions, so I really do think it's right that I'd have to wait whilst priority cases are sorted out, and I don't want to be wasting anyone's time! On the other hand I know going to my GP will result in me being told to go to A&E to get it checked, so don't really see the point in that either!
Then a friend suggests I go down to the "Minor Injuries Walk in Centre" at the other local hospital. (St. Mary's in Portsmouth) For some reason, I'd not even thought about it, but it was definitely the best option!
On arrival, parking was a bit of a nightmare, but only because we wanted to park near around the front of the hospital near the centre, (in hindsight I could have been dropped off and Dad have parked in the larger carpark round the back!) But luckily we found a spot fairly quickly.
I was pleased to see an adult's entrance and a children's entrance...not only because when you're in pain/ill etc, screaming children are the last thing you want to hear, but also having been a child in pain/ill/waiting for scary doctors to prod you, being surrounded by sometimes impatient adults in a clinical waiting room isn't great fun either! I did get a sneaky peek at the children's areas, but I'll mention that later!
A smiling lady invited me to the desk, and asked how she could help. I explained I had a knee injury, and she gave me a form, and asked me to fill it out and then bring it back to the desk, so the information could be passed on to triage.
The form was fairly simple; Name, date of birth, gender, address, emergency contact, nature and cause of illness/injury, medical history, allergies, medication and a few other bits...the basics really! It was only one double sided sheet of A4 and laid out clearly and only took a few minutes. Once it was handed in, we were told to take a seat and wait to be seen by triage.
The triage nurse got to me within about 5-10 minutes, which considering how busy they were was really quite impressive!
I was asked if it was ok to talk there, or if I'd rather be taken to a private room...as it was only a knee injury and nothing too personal/private, I opted, like most people I saw in there, to have a quick chat in the waiting room.
He had a notebook and a page with my name and brief information from my form at the top. That form saved 5 minutes worth of telling somebody else my details to write down, yippee!! He had a brief look at my knee, asked a few more questions about the symptoms I was having and pain etc, wrote a few notes and informed me that he was sorry, but that there was a two and a half hour waiting time as they were so busy. This wasn't a shock as I'd already seen it on the board clearly displayed and regularly updated behind the reception desk, and we were actually expecting it to be far longer! We decided dad would go home and I'd phone him when I knew more or needed to be picked up.
I'd taken a book and a bottle of water with me, as I know how long those waits can be, and I'd definitely tell anyone and everyone to take something with them just in case.
However, there was a couple of vending machine in the waiting area, as well as an assortment of magazines and newspapers on a table.
There were also toilets, a male/female and a disabled, which was handy as it meant I didn't have to walk very far!
The wait was actually shorter than I expected, being seen in around an hour and 40 minutes after seeing triage, which was a pleasant surprise as I've waited for over 6 hours to be seen in A&E before!
A doctor called my name, and I carried my bag for me to a consulting room, so I could concentrate on hobbling, which I thought was very nice!
The details from my form and the triage notes were already loaded on her computer screen, and she even offered me a drink!
She was a really good doctor, had a good look and prodded me in all the right places to cause pain, but hey that's what she's there for right! She didn't waste time going back over the basic information I'd already had taken, unless it was relevant to a specific question or symptom and she was efficient but thorough.
Rather than heading back to the waiting room before x-rays, she left me up on the trolley and I sat and read my trolley until I was taken to and from x-ray, still on the trolley!
The x-rays were really quick and they were very careful to hurt me as little as possible when moving my leg into the right places.
Once wheeled back into the room, it was only a few minutes before the doctor came in and talked me through what she'd seen on the x-rays. She then got me some crutches, and an appointment card to see a consultant tomorrow morning, and found me a time that was convenient all from the one system. It was really nice to have everything dealt with by the same person instead of having to go here, there and everywhere to repeat information over and over again!
She then helped me out to the waiting room, and asked if I needed someone to phone my dad to come and pick me up, I had my mobile so I didn't need them too, but it was still nice that they asked rather than assuming I was sorted!
The centre itself was clean and tidy, with a much calmer atmosphere than my local A&E, and even a bit of colour dotted around. From what I could see the children's area was brightly painted and with toys and books, and they had special children's consulting rooms which were also painted and generally more inviting than ordinary hospital rooms. I imagine the brightly painted walls provide good distraction too when things are scary or a bit painful.
All the staff were easily identifiable in their blue scrubs, and the non-medical staff were clean, tidy, presentable and approachable. And staff appeared to interact well, communication was certainly very good from what I experienced.
Patients were seen promptly and efficiently, more promptly than most were expecting I think, and all appeared to be treated with respect and courtesy at all times. I know I certainly was.
Overall, despite not being allowed to weight bear and having to go back tomorrow, the service I received was really very good. The NHS has such a formidable reputation, but the service I received today was second to none!
Hopefully, my visit tomorrow will be just as smooth and welcoming! I'll update with anything else I can think of!
Summary: Very positive experience at NHS Minor Injuries Walk in Clinic at St. Mary's Hospital Portsmouth