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"Clinically vulnerable people like myself put at risk"

About: South Tyrone Hospital / Minor Injuries Unit

(as a service user),

I firstly want to thank the staff in the minor injury unit for treating me in such a professional manor. I am not one to make complaints however my experience I felt it very important to share.

I had hurt my ankle and rang for an appointment  and was offered a morning appointment. As a cancer patient and other health problems, I am extremely clinical vulnerable and I was assured on the phone that the Dungannon Minor Injury Unit was appointment only and is never busy.

When i arrived there was a queue of people and it was overcrowded. The seats in the hallway were full and there was no social distancing.

I had to stand until I was called in.

Many of the people arriving had no masks on.

I felt very anxious and vulnerable.

Overhearing conversations it turns out most of the other people arrived without an appointment, yet were not turned away and seen anyway.

This is completely unacceptable. Vulnerable patients such as myself have been shielding all year. What is the point of an appointment system if anybody can just walk in as these people and seen anyway. 

When I raised this with staff I was told it is safer there than in a supermarket. I am not sure as the people walking in without appointments had no masks.

I hope this is addressed so other extremely clinically vulnerable people like myself do not be put at risk.

King Regards

Bergf56

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Responses

Response from Mairead Casey, Patient Client Experience & 10,000 Voices Facilitator, Patient Client Experience, SHSCT 7 months ago
Mairead Casey
Patient Client Experience & 10,000 Voices Facilitator, Patient Client Experience,
SHSCT

Patient Client Experience & 10,000 Voices Facilitator for Southern Health and Social Services Trust.

Submitted on 12/04/2021 at 17:30
Published on Care Opinion at 17:30


picture of Mairead Casey

Good afternoon thank you for sharing your recent experience at the Minor Injures Unit in STH and for your kind words about the staff who treated there in such a professional manner. We have shared this directly with the team.

However, I was sorry to read about the issues that you describe in relation to overcrowding, social distancing and mask wearing. We have shared this feedback directly with our colleagues in the Minor Injuries Unit and we hope to be in a position to provide you with a further response in relation to that.

With best wishes

Mairead Casey

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Response from Paul Smyth, Acting Head of Service Emergency Departments & Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine, Southern Health & Social Care Trust 7 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Paul Smyth
Acting Head of Service Emergency Departments & Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine,
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
Submitted on 20/04/2021 at 14:02
Published on Care Opinion at 14:14


Dear Bergf56 - Thank you for taking the time to share these comments in relation to your recent experience at our Minor Injuries Unit in South Tyrone Hospital and for acknowledging the professionalism of our staff. I can appreciate that you felt anxious and vulnerable when you attended the Minor Injuries Unit, because of your health problems. Based on your feedback we will review how best to reinforce the measures we have implemented in order to keep our patients safe.

The Trust introduced the “Phone First” service in November 2020 This service gives people attending South Tyrone Minor Injury Unit an appointment time in order to reduce overcrowding. Patients who arrive without an appointment are given the phone first number and asked to ring it to schedule an appointment. The sister from Minor Injuries Unit has informed me that all patients who attend without an appointment are asked to phone the number.

In addition patients who attend the MIU must wear a mask unless they are exempt from doing so. The signage in the department advises people of the requirement to wear face masks. Should patients arrive without a face mask, they are given a fluid shield mask at reception.

I hope that you are now recovering from your ankle injury

Best wishes

Paul Smyth

Acting Head of Service

Emergency Departments

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