"Refused treatment at minor injuries"

About: St Andrews Community Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

Our son is 11 and has a huge swelling to his eye. We suspected it was a stye, but weren't able to get a GP appointment to verify this for another 3 days.

We thought we would take him to the Minor Injuries department at St Andrews Hospital today, only to be told the nurse wouldn't look at our son, as he should see his GP. We explained the issue we have regarding an appointment, and the fact his eye is so sore, we just wanted some reassurance that (hopefully) it was just a stye and how to best treat it.

The nurse went on further, to tell us (in front of another patient in the waiting room) that 'most parents wouldn't just accept that there were no available appointments, they would be demanding one'. I'm sorry, but I trust my GP practice - if they tell me there are no appointments available, then I believe them.

I suggested to my husband that we take our son over to Ninewells Hospital to be seen there, and the nurse advised me that I would be wasting our time, as they wouldn't see him either. Is this usual practice? I wasn't bowled over by the treatment (lack of) we experienced today.

We then went to the Pharmacy where a lovely caring pharmacist took time to look at our son, and confirm what we thought, and advised the best course of action, and expected recovery time.

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear Calsmum

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experiences, good and bad of taking your son to the Minor Injuries Unit at St Andrews Hospital and thereafter to a pharmacy. I am aware that you have also been in touch with us directly which was most helpful as it allowed us to obtain the specific details to look into this. It is aslo helpful that you provided your feedback promptly as it allows us to address the issues without delay, so thank you for that.

What we can say at this stage is that we are sorry that your experience at St Andrews Hosptal was not a positive one and can give you our assurance that your feedback has already been shared with the appropriate staff. It is our intention to follow this up in a direct response to you.

In the meantime can I thank you once again for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I hope that your son now makes a quick recovery.


Louise Ewing

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