"I attended the emergancy clinic ..."

What I liked

I attended the emergancy clinic despite the fact that I wasn't (strictly speaking) an emergency and both the dentist and nurse were both very sympathetic and helpful. They were also very useful and recommended how I could get onto their books (by visiting the free clinic). I felt as if they cared about my issue.

What could be improved

The receptionists were at best glacial and at worst rude. My sister took me to the hospital as I wasn't sure where it was (and for a bit of moral support) and due to the time of my appointment, we were a few minutes late, having been stuck in rush hour traffic. I apologised and was met with a frosty comment to the tune of, "we give you an appointment time for a reason". I felt very tempted to stay back just as tartly, "well you're hardly fighting off the crowds, are you?" (the waiting room was empty). I, however, refrained and explained my problem. I was told by the RECEPTIONIST that they did not fix jaw problems, they only did emergency fillings etc. I had been referred by a Dental Nurse via NHS Direct because they felt I needed to be seen asap (I couldn't open my mouth properly, meaning I hadn't had much to eat all day). I explained this to the dentist who had just arrived and they were very helpful and said they would do what they could to sort it out.

Anything else?

The receptionists were not particularly nice - this is something which needs to be improved. When you're in pain and starving because your jaw is so painful you can't open it or chew, you really do not appreciate being told by someone with no medical experience that they "don't do jaw problems". On the other hand, the dentist and nurse were very friendly and helpful, and did their best to sort me out.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Birmingham Dental Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry that your experience was not as good as it should have been. Your comments have been forwarded to the Associate Director to consider how improvements may be made.

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