"A&E vs NHS Symptom checker vs 111 vs Out of..."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

A&E vs NHS Symptom checker vs 111 vs Out of Hours GP - you need to sort out who does what!

I hurt my leg, just above the ankle a week and a half ago. It has been very painful and I can't walk.. At the time I used NHS symptom checker which told me to go straight to A&E which I didn't do because I know how busy they are and I didn't feel that it was an "accident" or an "emergency".

So I chose the second option, ring 111.

Very nice helpful person asked me lots of questions and at the end told me that I needed to see a doctor within twelve hours and that an out of hours GP would be ringing me.

I explained that I had an appointment at my own GP in two days time but was told that it was too long to wait.

Was promptly rung with an appointment for this afternoon, great.

I then received a telephone call from the out of hours GP who said I would need an X-Ray so I was to go to A&E instead, no need to see them.

On arriving at A&E I was seen by a very dismissive nurse, they didn't even examine my leg just glanced at it and made an immediate diagnosis of ligament damage ( very clever!) and I didn't need an X-Ray but they would kindly ask a colleague to see me anyway! even though they don't treat 'old' injuries and my problem was neither an accident or an emergency (fair point).

When I tried to explain that the out of hours GP sent me they said "well the Doctor was wrong".

I left that room and the hospital (no I didn't stay) feeling very stupid and if when I go to my own GP and am sent for an x-Ray and if I do have a stress fracture, Princess Alexandra Hospital A&E Triage and one nurse in particular is going to get a formal letter of complaint, but I am hoping not.

To be fair I agree that time wasters should be sent away like me, but I was told to go by a GP! and this particular nurse thinks they know much more and better than a doctor.

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Anonymous,

A disjointed series of events, truly. Clearly the agencies could have coordinated this better and the nurse you saw in A&E should not have been so "dismissive". I hope it did all get sorted out in the end, it would be helpful if you could call us up and let us know how it was all resolved (or if it was not).

We are available Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm on 01279 82 72 11, please do get in touch so we can feed back to the nurse in A&E about how she made you feel. We hope to hear from you soon.

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