"111, and Urgent Care at the PRUH"

About: NHS 111 Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

(as the patient),

111 and experience of out of hours doctors and Urgent Care doctor at Farnborough Hospital

I recently had a very severe groin pain started at the very top and inside my right thigh. It was excruciatingly painful to the extent I could not move. It eased off but came and went all evening. At 11pm I went to bed and the same pain was there but then my knee started throbbing as if the vein/artery was pulsating with blood. This concerned me and I decided to get up and phone 111 at 11. 30.

It was quick to get through and I spoke to Chantelle. Based on the medical history and symptoms I told her she decided a doctor would phone me back and said this would be within two hours. I held the phone in my hand and waited for the call which never happened.

3 hours later I phoned 111 again. Dorian told me that the doctors had tried to call three times and that they 'had not got through' and that the case had been closed. However he reopened it and said they would phone soon.

A few minutes later it occurred to me that perhaps they had the wrong number so I called again. Chantelle answered and confirmed they had had the correct number. She said if they had not called by 4. 15am I should call again. They did not call. At 4. 20am I phoned 111 again and spoke to Baba. He said the doctors had tried three more times! He asked if I had a mobile, phoned that through to the doctors and then Dr Noori phoned me straight back on my mobile. It struck me afterwards that it would have been an obvious procedure to ask if there was a second number to reach you on. Equally should not all of the important information have been read back to me? After all it could have been an extreme emergency.

Coincidentally I had personal experience of an extreme emergency many years previously. When I spoke to Dr Noori about my medical history and symptoms I also briefly mentioned this previous disastrous experience. She asked me to go to Urgent Care which is the out of hours doctors at Farmborough Hospital. There was no wait there.

I saw Dr Sarah there who was very thorough and reassuring and also diagnosed another unrelated problem I had, which she noticed while making the examination. She discussed with me all the more potential serious reasons for the pain and eliminated them one by one. Thank you Dr Sarah.

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