"Duty of Care"

About: St Albans City Hospital

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I went to the minor injuries unit tonight following a fall in St Albans. I had twisted my ankle and was in extreme pain as I already have an injury there. I phoned the unit at 7:53 in a taxi om the way there and the answer machine was already on When I arrived at 7.56 the doors were already closed. I banged on the door and managed to attract the attention of a patient in the waiting area who let me in. I then found the receptionist who was chatting to patients in the waiting area. At the time I found her she tried to tell me it had already gone 8 o'clock. It hadn't. I asked her to book me in and she said she couldn't as the computers shut down at 8 o'clock?!?. I asked her to talk to one of the nurses which she did and then said they couldnt help me. While I'm not unsympathetic to the need of the staff to close the unit and go home, if they want to close by 8 then maybe they should tell patients they actually shut at 7.45 to avoid this distressing kind of situation. There were still people in the waiting area when I arrived and nurses on duty so I am still not sure why they refused to help me. Although painful my injury was minor and would have been quick to sort. The receptionist did admit that had I arrived at 7.55 they would have helped me. I believe that arriving at 7:57 and not being seen is therefore extremely unfair and unhelpful and that staff failed in their duty of care.

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