"Service has gone downhill"

The service at the Ashwood Centre has really gone downhill in the last couple of years. I gather this is due to service and staff cuts but they don't seem to use what they have very efficiently. The nurses seem to have to rigidly stick to one role, so while one person is really busy and can have a number of patients waiting, other staff seem to be milling about with little to do. Is this really the best way to organise staffing? Mixing appointments with drop-in clinics doesn't seem to work. It can be difficult to work out when the drop-in sessions are for the different services, and if you do drop in without an appointment, you're treated like a second-class citizen because those with appointments take priority and every time one of them arrives, you're pushed further down the queue. It seems there's no time allotted for drop-in patients to be fitted in among the appointments. Why not make it all appointments and fair for everyone?

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

I'm sorry to hear of the experience that you found when visiting the Ashwood Centre. We have had significant changes recently which involve training our staff to provide both contraception and sexual health (GUM), something that was never provided before. This means we can see and treat people quicker than previously as staff undertake multiple roles. To ensure you don't have to wait, we recommend that all people book appointments where possible but we are one of the few areas of the health service that will see emergencies without an appointment. From our records, in September 2014 no one has waited more than 90 minutes to be seen when they have attended without an appointment. I'm sorry that you feel that the service has gone downhill. If you would like to discuss this further please call on us 01536 452070 or 0800 917 8504. James Allan PALS

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