"My back pain at 4AM"

About: NHS 24 NHS Lanarkshire

(as the patient),

4AM and a back pain that had been causing some discomfort metamorphosed in to pain I have never experienced. After two hours of trying to get off the bed to use the loo my wife called NHS24. After two concise conversations - 1 with a call handler, 1 with a nurse - a GP was called and attended within 45 minutes. Intramuscular voltarol given, advice, diazepam and co-codamol in hand, I was finally able to move and get to the toilet. I was very impressed with the speed of response, the care of the NHS24 staff and the advice given. My only poor comment is that the GP's infection control was not what I would expect (I am a registered health care professional). the GP re-sheathed the needle after use, and a bloody swab was put in their coat pocket. Never mind - my overall opinion was high and NHS24 was superb. Thank you!

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear Patgz2

Thank you for your posting which I read with interest. I was very sorry to learn of your back pain which must have been a terrible experience.

I am pleased to note that your contact with NHS 24 was managed well. Here at NHS 24 we strive to provide an excellent level of service to patients and callers who are required to use our service. If you are able to provide some additional information, this would assist us to identify the staff members who managed your call which means that we could pass your complimentary feedback directly to them. If you wish to do this, I can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk.

It might be helpful if I explain that when a patient who calls NHS 24 subsequently requires a home visit by an Out of Hours GP, then the patient’s details are passed by NHS 24 to the local Health Board who make the necessary arrangements for this to take place. Therefore, the GP who attended to you is affiliated to NHS Lanarkshire and I note your comments in relation to the infection control issues. I am sure my colleagues within NHS Lanarkshire will respond to you in this regard.

Thank you again for your positive feedback in relation to NHS 24. I do wish you every good health for the future.

With kind regards

Shona Lawrence

NHS 24 Patient Affairs Manager

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Response from Emer Shepherd, Head of Service, Infection Prevention & Control, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Emer Shepherd

Dear Patgz2,

Many thanks for taking the time to post your experience on Patient Opinion. I hope your condition is improving and you are now more comfortable.

I am disappointed to read your account of infection control practice. I can assure you that this is below the standard expected of NHS Lanarkshire staff. All medical staff working for NHS Lanarkshire Out of Hours Service are offered education from Infection Prevention and Control when they join the organisation and training is available throughout the year.

I will be contacting the General Manager for the Out of Hours Service to discuss your experience and I will also be contacting all doctors working for this service to remind them of the standards expected.

If you’d like to discuss your experience in more detail please contact Laura Jack, Patient Affairs Manager on Tel No: 01698 858321.

Best wishes


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