"My experience of NHS out of hours service"
About: London London St George's Hospital (Tooting) / Accident and emergency St George's Hospital (Tooting) Accident and emergency London SW17 0QT
Posted by nottreatedasaperson (as ),
I found myself on a bank holiday with the worst sore throat I have ever experienced. I could not swallow and I could hardly breath (I have asthma).
I called my GP surgery and got a recorded message referring me to the 111 helpline. I rang them and got through fairly quickly. I spoke to someone who asked mostly sensible questions (some were irrelevant), who then made an appointment with an emergency GP service at my local A&E.
I was feeling extremely unwell, having been in bed for 3 days (something I was not actually asked about), but I dragged myself to the appointment. There I saw a doctor for approximately three minutes. The doctor looked at my throat and proscribed antibiotics. The doctor did not give me a diagnosis or any advice.
When my husband cashed the prescription (which could not be done at the hospital, so he had to find a chemist open on a bank holiday) the antibiotics were in capsule form, which I could not swallow. The drugs were available as a liquid, but the chemist could not alter the prescription. The next day I telephoned my GP and got the liquid form. I knew from past experience that I needed steroids, but my GP insisted I come in and be seen, which could not be done until the following day.
When I was seen, two days after I phoned 111, I was prescribed steroids. I consider that the doctor I saw as a result of the 111 call could and should have inquired into my past history and could and should prescribed steroids in the first place. Although I am much better, I am still not completely well two and a half weeks later.