"Staff great, systems less so"

About: Mount Vernon Hospital

I visited early Monday evening as I had damaged my calf quite painfully going upstairs and I had been advised to get it checked out. I have a few points that I hope the administravie management will consider and will then praise the staff. Monday is very busy, as it includes all the weekend's sports injuries apparently, and so I ended up with a 2 hour and more wait - presumably it is not feasible to have more nurse assessors on duty on a Monday? Actually, that was quite lucky, as the list was closed immediately after me - and we were asked to keep the entrance door shut and not let new people in. So some people who arrived before the 'closing time' of 8pm were turned away - surely such closure this could be flagged on the website in this day and age so people could check before making journeys in the last couple of hours that the MIU is open? Also, I did not get the impression that therewas any sign put on the closed door - that would make it more official and less uncertain and uncomfortable for those people knocking on the door/window and those inside waiting, who either had to ignore them or go up to them andtell them on behalf of the hospital. Finally, the staff: - I found the person at reception friendly and efficient - my nurse assessor was similarly professional, despite it being right at the end of her day: she diagnosed the injury (albeit a common one) thoroughly, checking for non-standard problems; she called up a diagram on the computer screen, which I appreciated; and she advised me about exercise and other treatment. There is, however, one moan: she was very clear that I should not use any form of bandage and stated that MV MIU had so advised for about 20 years. I did not debate this but note that it runs contrary to the commonly used RICE acronym and that confusion was reinforced as the handout she gave me also uses RICE, of which the C is of course compression. Someone shd resolve this apparent disparity (e.g. maybe I did not need compression as I had no real obvious swelling?) The exercises in the leaflet are useful and instinctively feel correct.

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Response from Mount Vernon Hospital

Thank you for your constructive comments. We are glad you found our staff to be friendly and efficient. It is always good to get positive feedback, and your remarks have been relayed to the people concerned. We rarely close the Minor Injuries Unit early, and regret that it became necessary on the Monday in question. When this occurs, we follow a detailed policy whereby all other relevant agencies are made aware of the curtailed service. At present, this does not extend to our website. We will look into the possibility of including this in future. Early closure is usually advertised on the door of the unit when it becomes necessary. We are sorry if this did not occur on this occasion. Our information leaflets are designed to be used for a wide variety of related injuries. Not all the advice will be applicable to all our patients. Consultations are generally tailored to the needs of the individual and, therefore, information leaflets are only meant to be used as an adjunct to the care plan provided by the Nurse. I hope this clears up any perceived contradiction in the advice provided.

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