"I got the impression that I was not believed"

About: Guy's Hospital North Middlesex Hospital

(as the patient),

I went to the walk-in centre at North Middlesex Hospital suffering from mouth ulcers and an excruciating infected wisdom tooth in the middle ofFeb 2010 because I couldn't get an appointment with a nurse or doctor that day at my GP's practice. I was actually turned away by a member of staff.

When I arrived and asked if I could see a nurse (there were no doctors that day apparently), I was asked what my medical complaint was by the receptionist (this happened on a previous visit and I found this humiliating and an invasion of privacy, since one is forced to shout into a microphone for the receptionist to hear). When I explained my condition, she told me to use bonjela and to go and see an NHS dentist. When I protested she went to get a nurse. they came out of their examination room where a patient was waiting to see them specifically to tell me that there was no point in queuing to be seen by a nurse because they couldn't prescribe anit-biotics for the infection and they wouldn't see someone for mouth ulcers anyway. I told them I was in extreme pain and would appreciate an examination of the inflamed area, rather than relying on self-diagnosis, and they proceeded to give me a history of thier medical condition, telling me about a particularly painful tooth that they had and how a dentist sorted it out by removing the wisdom tooth. It would be an understatement to say that I didn't appreciate this, especially since I was talking about this in front of a full waiting room.

I eventually left the waiting room on the advice of this nurse and on the Sunday received excellent care by a nurse in the Minor Injuries Unit at Guy's Hospital, where I was spoken and listened to with respect and given antibiotics and sound advice which has helped me enormously. I was absolutely shocked by the treatment (or lack of) I received at North Middlesex Hospital, and I got the impression that the two staff members I encountered either didn't believe what I was telling them or didn't care that I was in need of treatment.

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