"NHS 24 and out of hours care"
Posted by Edinburghpatient (as ),
I took very ill over the Christmas period and had to call NHS 24 several times over the week. I was referred to a walk in centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Diagnosed with severe flu - despite my symptoms including brown/bloody looking cough sputum. No listening to my chest. Told to take paracetamol and ibuprofen. Became more and more unwell and called NHS 24 advice (or a neighbour did) and told to give my flu 'more time'. Despite this, we insisted I needed to be seen again and a taxi was sent (too ill to stand up never mind drive), breathing was incredibly difficult, walking too. I needed antibiotics for an unspecified chest infection. Then went to my GP where in fact it was diagnoses as serious pneumonia (double). Took 5 weeks of high strength antibiotics, pain, fear that I wasn't getting better, and only my GP seemed to give good and proper care and attention. And her view is that I should have been hospitalised and on I/V antibiotics from the outset.
I feel the online help was not adequate - and when they refuse to speak to a representative of the patient - when the patient is too ill to speak -it seems unhelpful. And the out of hours care at the Royal Victoria Hospital was poor, failing to listen to my chest or refer me to A&E when I was so ill, could have ended very badly for me. With double pneumonia then lasting 2 months, it was a horrendous time. There was also no suggestion I should see my GP or that it could even be pneumonia as opposed to a milder chest infection - despite very obvious symptoms that should be understood by any medic.