"Puzzled and disappointed"

Attended the emergency dental service today. Arrived there not long after opening hours and presented at main reception and asked for emergency service department and was informed by the receptionist that all the tickets had gone for today, handed me an information sheet with a letter written in the corner and to go through the doors take a seat and wait for my letter to be called. Eventually I was called to the desk, details taken and sat back down. There wasn't much of a wait to see the triage nurse, this is where the confusion begins. My details were checked again by the nurse and I was asked what the problem was with my teeth. The nurse then said that all the tickets were gone for the day and that I wouldn't be able receive treatment went through some options of pain relief to ring 111 for advice - all very helpful advice. I was told that the best thing to do was to come back Monday morning really early as people queue from 6:00 am to get a ticket when the doors open a 7:30 am. The nurse said that they were really sorry that no treatment could be given, tooth not even looked at and then I left feeling very puzzled. What I can't understand that if all the tickets had gone and the clinic full then why was I told to register and wait to see the nurse to be triaged? Wouldn't it have been less waste of my time, the registering receptionist and the nurses time if at the main reception I was informed that there were no more emergency appointments at the walk-in clinic and to come back early on Monday morning. I am not blaming the staff, they have a job to do, I work for the NHS. I am very disappointed that no treatment was given and that I had a wasted journey and also had to take time off work to get treatment.

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Response from Birmingham Dental Hospital

Thank you for posting your feedback, and I am sorry you came away from Birmingham Dental Hospital feeling puzzled and disappointed. As you experienced, we have a limited number of tickets each day for patients who do not have an appointment and who are seeking urgent advice and treatment. Tickets are made available when the hospital opens at 7.30 a.m. and are often taken within a very short time. Unfortunately when you arrived on Friday, all of the tickets had been allocated. When patients attend in pain or bleeding, and cannot be offered a ticket, the duty nurse is available to undertake a review of the patient's symptoms, so that any risks caused by delaying treatment have been identified and managed. The nurse is also able to offer clinical advice about managing pain, oral hygiene and alternatives available from a general dental practitioner. I hope this explanation helps and that you are able to be seen tomorrow morning. Alison Last Associate Director of Patient Experience Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust

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