"Does Not Have A Walk-In Centre"

About: Guy's Hospital

Despite stating that it does have a Walk-In Centre on the NHS Choices website, Guy's actually just has an Urgent Care centre, so do not expect to be received well if you try and obtain any treatment or care for Walk-In Centre type issues. My experience was the classic scenario where you need treatment quickly because you are in considerable pain but the issue is not A&E-worthy. The staff in this department palm you off to your GP based on a Receptionist triaging you, the GP is booked out for the next 5 days so you end up feeling like your only option is to go to A&E - and the NHS definitely do not want you to do that - so you get no treatment. If an individual is trying to access services based on NHS advice/information, they should not be made to feel foolish if the staff at the hospital work to a different agenda - and based on what and how I was hearing other patients being told this in the short time I was there, it was not an experience unique to me. Its definitely worth highlighting that the Receptionists in this Urgent Care centre are a particularly aggressive and disrespectful version of the classic NHS Receptionist (eg operate from a stance that you should not ask them anything, disturb them or expect confidential conversations to include any element of privacy.) Above all, by coming into 'their' department you represent a huge drain on NHS resources, and will be made to feel guilty and ineligible. The hospital management needs to do unannounced tests to measure customer service levels being offered in this department ASAP. They also should not be triaging patients! I've never understood why I've met so many NHS staff who have chosen a public-facing career but appear to hate people. Personal experience in the Urgent Care department at Guy's just reinforced this view - specifically from a Nurse Practitioner. I do not recommend this department at all unless you are desperate or fall into some unquantifiable set of criteria where your issue passes the muster of the non medically trained Receptionist who triages you, but does not require a visit to A&E.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Guy's Hospital

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences at Guys UCC. I will bring your comments to the attention of the reception manager. We use a method of early patient assessment called streaming, so that all patients have the opportunity to be seen by a nurse. This involves a nurse briefly assessing patients who present to the UCC, to determine if they are in the right place to best meet their health needs. I apologise if this didn't occur on your visit. Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback.

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