"Urgent care centre"

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

I arrived at the Urgent Care Centre at approx 5pm on Saturday 11 October 2014 with a leg injury sustained during a football match. I was in considerable pain and unable to put weight on my injured leg. At the reception area I was told there would be a 2 and a half to 3 hours wait. The triage nurse who spoke to me never made eye contact with me once. She just looked at her computer and barked questions - complete lack of respect and dignity. No offer of a wheelchair or pain killers were made. Whilst speaking to me, she left two times to deal with 'other things' - no apology or 'excuse me' were given as a common courtesy. After I hobbled to a chair and waited, I observed that she was the same with all patients and even said to a panicked mother with a very distressed child (thumb injury) , "calm down" in such a patronising way. I work in the NHS and this is the most most inept triage and disregard of patient respect I have come across - it was professionally embarrassing. After waiting 3 and a half hours, I made my way up to the reception area and asked when I would be seen as my pain was increasing. By this time my knee had ballooned up considerably. They struggled to find my details on the computer and when they eventually did, they said I had been called by an agency/locum nurse (?!) and I refuted this. I said I had been waiting patiently and never heard my name being called out. I should also say that many of the staff , when calling out patients' names, mispronounced names or did not speak loudly enough. This contributed to considerable anxiety amongst patients. I then asked when I would be seen and they seemed oblivious to my condition and said we'll try and get someone to see you soon. I said this wasn't good enough. The lack of concern and care was evident. I then asked, am I going to be seen in the next 15 minutes or next 3 hours? They just shrugged their shoulders. By this time, I had enough and called a relative to pick me up. I told the reception staff that their treatment was atrocious and that I'd be raising complaints with senior management within the hospital, Richmond & Hounslow Community Health Services and the UCC Clinical Lead. I subsequently went to Ealing UCC - the contrast was stark. I was triaged, given pain killers, treated with considerable respect, given x-rays (which revealed a fibula fracture), had a plaster-cast put on my leg and had an appointment made for me at the hospital's fracture clinic - all within 2 hours!! This UCC cannot hide under the pretext that Saturday evenings are extremely busy - why should this erode patient respect and dignity? I shall never come to this UCC again and will definitely not recommend it to to family and friends. Your UCC staff need refresher training in core values as articulated in the NHS Constitution.

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Response from West Middlesex University Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your experiences at the Urgent Care Centre, which is run by Hounslow and Richmond Community Health Care NHS Trust. We are sorry to read of your experiences and would ask that you please contact the Urgent Care Centre’s Patient Advice and Liaison (PALs) team on free-phone 0800 953 0363 or by email on pals.hrch@nhs.net so that the team can discuss this with you, listen to your feedback and see how we can put this right. In the meantime we have shared your feedback with colleagues from the Urgent Care Centre so they may look into the concerns you raise.

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