"Asthma attack - turned away"

About: Guy's Hospital

Just got to Urgent Care at Guys more than 20 minutes before the list closed as im having an asthma attack and taking my inhaler every 20 minutes or so. 111 told me to go there as I needed to see a doctor asap. I was turned away because the list closed early. The waiting room wasn't that busy. Been told to go to St Thomas' a and e instead by getting on the tube and walking across the bridge at Westminster. Already exhausted getting to guys. Receptionist was very apologetic at least but it seems strange that the rules are so black and white and that a doctor or nurse can't be consulted. If I had gotten there after 7 I would have understood. Instead I'm wasting the time of an a and e department and having to cross a bridge over the river at night.

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Response from Guy's Hospital

Following receipt of your feedback, the Service Manager has looked into the experience you have described. On behalf of the Urgent Care Centre he apologises that you did not receive the standard of service the UCC usually offers. Unfortunately, the UCC has had some problems with lower than usual numbers of GPs recently. In addition, the UCC has seen a sharp increase of patients late in the day all needing to see the GP who finishes at 20:00. This is why the service has occasionally had to stop accepting patients earlier than the 19:00 hours cut off. The UCC are now working closely with our GP provider to sort out any occasional shortfall in GP provision and reduce the chance of the experience you describe occurring in the future. However, given the your symptoms of asthma, the UCC would normally ask a nurse to provide an assessment and treat as an emergency if required. This would involve transfer via ambulance to St Thomas' The Service Manager is liaising with his colleagues in the reception and nursing teams ensure that a nursing assessment is provided in future for patients who arrive at UCC in circumstances similar to yours. If it would be helpful to discuss your experience with the Service Manager, I hope you will make contact with PALS (patient advice and liaison service) by telephone 020 7188 8801, 020 7188 8803 or email pals@gstt.nhs.uk

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