"Avoid! Just go to hospital."

About: Erith & District Hospital

My son has been suffering from severe constipation for 2 weeks and problems started 4 weeks ago.

I tried all I could but yesterday about 1pm he doubled over in pain, sweating, crying, screaming saying it hurt and he didn't feel well.

All my instincts told me we needed help.

My own doctors had no appointments and no doctors were present till 5pm through training.

I thought I should go to DVH but thought I'd call NHS 111 first.

A very helpful person spoke to me, the outcome being that I needed to get him somewhere within 6 hours.

They said as my doctor was not there I should go to Erith and District Hospital, say I'd been referred by 111 and they would help.

Having arrived at Erith and District I gave them the information, they showed no interest in me or my son, just said to sit down.

We waited an hour before a lady in a suit called us in (after others that had come in before us were seen!).

They just asked me "what do you want me to look for?" Really, is that how the NHS works now?

We have to educate them?! When I explained the situation they said "so what did you hope I could do?" Really?!!!!

They went on to tell myself and my mother that it was pretty much his fault for not pooing and that to carry on with what I'm doing.

If he vomits or gets worse in any way then maybe go to hospital.

They even asked if I thought she should prescribe a laxative!!!

I declined as how do I know?!! I had no trust at all.

They hadn't even looked at my son.

It was then, with my pushing for a conversation at least that they took his temperature (didn't tell me what it was) and felt his tummy saying it was rather full. They said they really couldn't do much. That the NHS 111 number just says to take them somewhere as they have to be seen to do something. I got up and walked out.

What a waste of time!!!!

By the way, MY SON IS 3 YEARS OLD!!

I wonder now if any staff there are medically trained or even know how to deal with people. I do not trust them. I will NEVER go there again or recommend it.

If your own doctor cant help, go straight to the hospital.

I've learnt my lesson.


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Response from Erith & District Hospital

Thank you for raising your concerns we welcome all feedback which we use for learning to offer our patients the best service we are able to.

We have looked at your individual case note from the day in question.

111 were right to refer you to the urgent care centre as your GP was closed that day but all the urgent care centre could do would treat the intial discomfort on the day as we offer acute minor illness and minor injury treatment and not ongoing treatment, we would refer back to your own GP for further and ongoing management and possibly the health visitor would be more helpful to advise regarding the issues.

A&E would only be able to do the same as the Urgent Care and would have referred back to your own GP as well.

You stated that you were seen before other people that were already waiting, everyone is assessed on arrival and then put into different queues depending on injury or illness and severity, each queue runs at a different pace.

The clinician opened the consultation by asking what she could do to help you, every patient that comes to an urgent care centre has no history with the centre so the clincians are not aware of past medical history or what the complaint is that day so generally ask that question to start investigating the issue.

Looking at the case notes the Dr was reluctant to give suppositories(laxative) due to the age of your son and as we do not offer follow up appointments to check progress which is again another reason for your GP to manage the problem.

Regarding the examination, as previously explained, we have limited resources and are unable to undertake investigations for longer term issues.

The Drs always discuss treatment plans with the patient, or in the case of children the parents, before issuing medication and will always give advice should the symptoms escalate.

All of our Drs and nurses are highly trained in their field and work locally in GP Practices.

Once again I apologise that you were unhappy with your experience but hope I have answered some of your concerns and that your son is recovering well.

Debbie Maxted _ Regional manager Urgent Care

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