"nice to have walk-in centre but superficial care..."

Anything else?

On May 29th, I had waited the advised 3 days before going to doctor/clinic about my inner ear hurting so much. I could barely walk for the pain as I entered the walk-centre. Staff at the desk were kind and helpful in taking my details. Unfortunately, the TV was on with very high volume of manic noisy kids programs. I appreciated the children's area and even having a TV but being in pain, especially with my ear, the volume was excruciating. I waited for 45 minutes, but on a Saturday I had not expected to be visited quickly. The doctor seemed nice while visiting me. He confirmed an inner ear infection in full progress. Then the quality of the service took a down turn. He told me to pick up ear drops called Ear Calm over the counter . I asked whether there were antibiotics in the ear drops. He assured me there were. I was perplexed how a product with antibiotics needed no prescription. I later found that the active ingredient was only Acetic Acid (vinegar). As I had expected, No relief came from this and I was obliged to call out a doctor for a house visit at 22:00. She was surprised by the medicine advised by the walk-in clinic doctor and quickly prescribed both antibiotic tablets and drops with cortisone for the pain and relief of swelling. The ear infection was so severe that even 2 months later and 2 courses of antibiotic tablets and further prescription of antibiotic drops my hearing continues to be compromised and I still have some fluid in the ear for which I have more appointments with the doctor. My problem is still not resolved. I feel the walk-in doctor handled my case in a superficial manner, and therefore prolonged my pain and anguish by underestimating the gravity and the intervention needed. On the other hand, the doctors on call were kind and efficient helping reduce my pain, and deal with the compromising side effects of the infection in the inner ear.

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Response from Royal Victoria Hospital Folkestone

We are very sorry to hear about your recent experiences with the NHS, and your on-going ear problems. Folkestone Walk-in Centre is one of several services operating from that part of the building at Royal Victoria Hospital in Folkestone, including an out-of-hours GP service. From your description we are not sure if it was our service you used, as we don't have doctors in the walk-in centre, they are all nurses. However it could have been that you were seen by a male nurse on that day. We'd like to be able to look into what happened to you, why it happened, and if anything could have been done differently. To do this we need a few more details from you. If you could please get in touch with us using the contact details below we can make sure your concerns are thoroughly investigated and you get a full response. In the meantime please accept our apologies for any distress caused. Best wishes Customer Care Team Kent Community Health NHS Trust Tel: 0300 123 1807 Email: kcht.cct@nhs.net Website: www.kentcht.nhs.uk

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