"doctor needed out of hours"

About: Charing Cross Hospital / General surgery Harmoni / NHS 111

(as the patient),

I had a really bad pain but didn't want to go to accident and emergency. Bank holiday weekend of course.

I phoned 111 and the call took ages with masses of questions when all I requested was advice on how to reach a doctor. Eventually, I was advised to go to the health centre attached to Charing Cross hospital, which was satisfactory. It seems that it would be much better to have a local, rather than a national service and that if a doctor could be available to do a home visit, as in the old days, this would be preferable.

In fact luckily I have a husband and a car, so I was driven to the health centre, but on my own, I would have had to call an ambulance - ridiculous waste of public resources - or a taxi I suppose.

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Responses

Response from Amanda Mayo, NHS 111 Service Director, Harmoni

Thank you for taking time to post your experiences on Patient Opinion and I hope that you are now feeling better.

NHS111 is commissioned to be a local service therefore it is very likely that your call was taken within London. The questions are designed to quickly identify life threatening conditions and once life threatening conditions are ruled out an, assessment is undertaken to enable the Health Advisor to book an appointment with a GP local to you, advise a visit to the local ED depatrment or Urgent Care Centre of indeed book a home visit. We try to advise the caller to attend the service most relevant to manage the callers presenting symptoms.

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Response from Christine Cornell, PALS manager, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for sharing your experience of seeking access to health services via NHS Choices and Patient Opinion. The Walk In Urgent Care Centre next to A & E at Charing Cross Hospital is a GP run service for those that do not require emergency care but cannot get an urgent GP appointment or do not have a GP. These centres were set up to ease the pressures on emergency services and seek to prevent A & E's being used inapporopriately for none emergency cases.

Your comments with regard to GP visits and how healthcare is organised both locally and nationally are pertinent in the present debate with regard to NHS reforms. They are beyond the scope of Charing Cross Hospital to comment upon but it would be important to raise your concerns with your local MP.

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Response from Charing Cross Hospital

Thank you for sharing your experience of seeking access to health services via NHS Choices and Pateint Opinion. The Walk In Urgent Care Centre next to A & E at Charing Cross Hospital is a GP run service for those that do not require emergency care but cannot get an urgent GP appointment and do not have a GP. These centres were set up to ease the pressures on emergency services and seek to prevent A & E's being used inapporopriately for none emergency cases. Your comments with regard to GP visits and how healthcare is organised both locally and nationally are pertinent in the present debate with regard to NHS reforms. They are beyond the scope of the Trust to comment upon but it would be important to raise your concerns with your local MP.

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