"Milton Keynes Urgent Care Centre"

About: Walk in Centre

(as the patient),

Our 20 year old cat had become unwell so we went to the vets; the cat bit my thumb hard enough to cause several punctures so I was referred for immediate assessment and treatment to the local urgent care center.

This was early yesterday evening; there were plenty of people waiting it appeared though many were groups offering company, or parental supervision to those in need of the service. We were a mixed bunch; knowing I might have to wait a while I took a bottle of water and a book. The waiting room had a TV playing a DVD of a film though the conversations and the film soundtrack competed for attention. A quiet read therefore was difficult to achieve.

In addition there was only one display screen that announced when we had been called and which room to go to. It meant everyone had to see the screen from where they sat, causing bunching or sitting positions that would lead to back trouble at some later date. A couple of repeater displays would make a difference.

In addition a group of men were working on the air conditioning; they were keeping going despite what I would have expected to be a finishing time. It was not clear to service users that as a result about half the consultation rooms were not available for use. What effect it was having on the rate of being see it was difficult to tell; an explanatory note or a verbal reminder form the receptionist might have made the difference.

Another missing piece of information was the process one would go through whilst there; seeing the nurse then maybe the doctor or maybe not. It led to misunderstandings by those less than sober, parents of very young children and those selfless enough to say "he's been here longer than me and not been seen yet". All this takes up Receptionist time it explain. If you are going to have digital displays, TVs etc why not use them to explain the processes, and find a way to illustrate priority cases etc.

I had a wait of about 90 min; it was OK and the nurse was lovely once I was seen. Helpful and efficient I was soon on my way with the appropriate treatment. I did see people give up after an hour; I have had to wait nearly that in the GP surgery when they get behind. Should the attendees be checked regularly that they are still there?

Anyway, as a turn up and wait experience it was pretty good. My thumb is feeling better today and I am reassured that I am on the right treatment.

I am a nurse by background; I work as a service manager in the independent health sector now. I was overall happy with how I was dealt with, even if not pleased with our old cat.

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