"Friendly care at Walk-in"

About: West Lancashire Health Centre

(as the patient),

Sorry for the essay!

A few nights ago while out with friends, I tripped on an uneven floor in a bar and landed on my knee. After putting off going to a&e due to bad experiences in the past, I called 111 for advice, and after some questions, I was advised to go to A&E which I really didn't want to do. A friend suggested I try the walk-in minor injuries clinic at West Lancs Health Centre, on the ground of Ormskirk Hospital. I'd been there before and felt better about going there than actual A&E . With it being a bank holiday Monday, I was dubious about going, so checked the opening times online, but this proved impossible to find, so hoping for the best, I went anyway. I was expecting it to be either a) closed, or b) absolutely jam-packed. I arrived a little after 3pm and was fairly surprised at the lack of crowds. There were around 7 people waiting in the waiting room. I checked in at reception which was quick, although the receptionist did make me feel a bit rushed. I took a seat and within 10 minutes I was called through.

The nurse who I saw seemed friendly and this immediately put me at ease. As I'll say again, I really do not like hospitals and get very anxious, but I felt a lot easier after meeting the nurse who would be caring for me. I was worried that because my injury was caused on a night out after a few cocktails, she would treat me as if I was wasting their time. This was worrying me as I know how disgracefully stretched the NHS is and felt bad for using their time (probably why I put off attending in the first place). She was very easy to chat to and didn't make me feel rushed. I didn't feel judged for having a drunken injury, and she could clearly tell how much pain I was in, so was very gentle while examining my knee and apologised whenever I was pained by the examination.

I was then sent through to xray, which was great, as I assumed this initial examination was just assessment/triage and I would have to go back to the waiting room, but I was sent to xray straight away. On arrival, the radiographer came and collected my paperwork from me to save me having to hobble to reception, which may sound little, but actually helped me a lot - sometimes it's the small things! She apologised that there would be a delay as they were very busy, which I appreciated. Again, this lady was very friendly and professional. The Xray department was busy and I was right next to a family with two screaming children, so after waiting a little, I was called in and the radiographer explained that my xray shouldn't take long, so she decided to get my done quickly so I didn't have to sit alone in such a busy and noisy clinic. She tried her best to keep me comfortable, and again, apologised when I was pained by the adjustment of my knee. After the first images were done, she came back in and apologised that they would need to be done again as they were unclear, so she propped my leg up on sponges etc to make me more comfortable - after being poked and prodded, I was very sore, so appreciated this.

I then headed back to the walk-in clinic, and waited less than 5 minutes before being called in for my results. I was told that there were no clear fractures, but due to the level of swelling, this wasn't conclusive so a more thorough physical exam was needed. This was very painful but the nurse did all she could do be gentle. She then excused herself to fetch a doctor as she was concerned about the alignment of my knee. The doctor was again, very friendly and confirmed the diagnosis. The nurse explained that the xray would be sent for review as it was inconclusive and advised me that I would be called if there was any new information on my xray results, and that I should come back in one week for a review. She checked by contact details were up to date. She offered a knee brace for support, but unfortunately this was too small (I'm a larger lady) - she didn't make me feel embarrased about this, which I appreciated so much - so she dressed the knee wound and wrapped my leg in warm crepe to give me some added support. She offered crutches and advised me on when to bring these back, as well as aftercare (elevation, ice etc). I was prescribed painkillers, anti-inflamatories and antibiotics as a preventative measure. She then told me to get a head start on leaving and she would catch me up in the waiting room with my prescription, which was thoughtful.

All in all, I felt my care was very thorough and also, very friendly and professional and I cannot thank the nurse and radiographer enough. They made a very anxious and sore patient feel more relieved and relaxed, and I felt they took me seriously and did everything to assess and treat my injury while keeping me as comfortable as possible. I wasn't just told 'it's not broken' and that was the end of the story, which has happened to me before with a sprained ankle. I'm so happy with the care I received and would love this to be passed on to the clinic.

The only suggestion for improvement was that nobody introduced themselves by name, which generally, would have been nice, but also, because I would have loved this feedback to go directly to the nurse herself.

Thankyou to everyone who helped me today.

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