"Out of hours GP was fantastic but nurses unaware..."

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) (London)

What I liked

The out of hours GP gave extremely good care. He was thorough, efficient, sensitive and reassuring. He gave me a thorough examination, explained the problem and treatment clearly and prescribed a course of antibiotics. This part of my experience at the Walk-in Centre could not have been better.

What could be improved

The information on the website clearly states that the walk-in centre, which resides at St George's A&E, is for non-emergency care of minor illnesses including chest infections. However, when I visited the walk-in centre suffering from a chest infection (following a virus) which had started over the weekend the first nurse I saw was very discouraging. I asked if I was in the right place for the walk-in centre and she told me that the nearest walk-in centres were in Mitcham and Clapham! She didn't turn me away but took my details and then told me off for coming to St George's instead of seeing a GP. My GP surgery is closed at the weekend and on Fri evenings (which is when my chest symptoms had come on) otherwise I would of course have gone there. The second nurse I saw was very sensitive and friendly but was also unsure of why I had come to an emergency department with a chest infection. I explained that I had only come because the website said that there was a non-emergency walk-in centre available which treated minor illnesses like chest infections. There is no way I would have come to A&E if I had known that this service was not in fact available!

The nurses kindly booked me in to see the hospital's out of hours GP who was wonderful. He didn't question why I had come to the hospital. He treated me with care and respect and quickly diagnosed the problem. He prescribed antibiotics and clearly explained what was wrong. Perhaps he was fully aware of the non-emergency service while the nurses were not?

I feel strongly that either the info on the website should be corrected immediately (if walk-in service isn't available) or the nurses should be made aware of the walk-in service and briefed on the procedures to follow for patients with minor illnesses who have not come for the emergency service offered by the A&E but the walk-in service promised by the website!

I cannot fault the care and kindness of the GP or nurses but there is clearly a communication problem here

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Response from St George's Hospital (Tooting)

Thank you very much for taking the time to post feedback about your experience at St George’s Hospital. Your kind comments will be passed onto the team and your comments about communication around the walk-in centre will be passed on to the A&E team.

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