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Mill Street Clinic, an unfriendly reception

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Tuesday 13 December 2011 12.37am
A friend has moved in on a temporary basis and unfortunately put his back out today. Being in obvious pain (the contorted face makes it quite obvious) he visited the Mill Street Clinic seeking guidance on registration and potentially an emergency appointment.

He was ignored at first and then curtly told that they were undertaking no registration appointments until until January. He pointed out that he was in pain and needed attention before January, he was told that he could not be seen until he was registered and was then provided with the a registration pack...

The part of that pack that most amazed me was the last page of the pack. "TO ALL PATIENTS: NHS Staff are qualified, capable professionals. They are not a part of a 'service industry' i.e. Hoteliers, Caterers."

This seems to imply to that you're expected to take what you're given and that any expectations of a service will not be met!

Last time I looked at my payslip it included a deduction called National Insurance... I do pay for the NHS, it is NOT FREE, it is FREE at the point of use.

Despite the extreme pain he managed to cross Jamaica Road and made it to Bermondsey Spa Medical Practice. They offered practical advice, real hope of registration and ultimately the possibility of an emergency appointment.

I appreciate that the Mill Street Clinic isn't a 'Hotel' but surely they should recognise who pays for the service that the provide.

After all, empathy, caring and being friendly costs nothing.
Tuesday 13 December 2011 11.06am
How arrogant! Being a qualified professional, and focused on delivering on service are not mutually incompatible. The NHS Constitution disagrees with the Mill Street Clinc. wrote:
* High quality care that is focused on the patient experience
* The NHS is accountable to the patients it serves
etc, etc

I can count hundreds of mentions of the fact that NHS professionals are there to serve you.
Tuesday 13 December 2011 12.25pm
Well as a regular user of the practice (Mill St Surgery not Clinic)I am no fan of the reception, as like all receptionists they can be a bit brusque and jobsworthy, but I feel obliged to stick up for the overall practice. The Doctors are great, and have often gone out of their way to be helpful. They usually have same day appointments and have even seen my baby daughter as a walk-in after opening hours.

I am sorry your friend was unwell, but to be honest, walking into an GP surgery where you aren't registered is about the worst way to get seen quickly. If it was yesterday, they had one doctor out sick and were somewhat overrun - I was there for a morning appointment.

NHS Direct for advice, and then NHS walk-ins and A&E are the places to get immediate treatment, although of course he deserved a polite and sympathetic service whatever the circumstances.
Tuesday 13 December 2011 12.33pm
their receptionists are fairly 'friendly' in comparison with receptionists at other surgeries. Whenever the kids have been unwell, they have always seen us the very same day. Has its faults but far better than some other surgeries in the area.
Tuesday 13 December 2011 7.59pm
golsonic wrote:
NHS walk-ins and A&E are the places to get immediate treatment
He visited the NHS walk in for Southwark and was seen with 30 mins on a walk in basis. The Doctor was apparently very pleasant and went out of her way to provide a good service.

It's a shame that practices like Mill Street seem willing to give the impression that 'you should be grateful for what we're given'. As such an approach to patient care has the potential to adversely impact on the reputation of the whole NHS and those who work within it.
Tuesday 13 December 2011 10.27pm
'A GP must provide any treatment which is immediately necessary in an emergency, even if you are not registered with them', according to NHS patients' rights.

I passed out following severe pain once. When I woke up I was very unstable and bled. I couldn't see how I would get to the local hospital without passing out again. My GP practice is virtually across the road. At the same time, I am not in great danger at that minute which necessitate an ambulance (ambulance service is often misused putting unnecessary pressure on staff). The receptionist at the GP practice was very rude over the phone and because I don't have 'a history of heart problem, not pregnant, not a child, etc...' I have to wait for 4 weeks for the nearest appointment. A receptionist is not in any position to ask question in order to assess how clinically urgent a case is. I eventually reported this to the NHS direct who contacted my surgery and got me an emergency appointment.
Wednesday 14 December 2011 9.57am
Kaptau, just read your bit about emergency doctors having to see you, I have just posted a bit about the receptionist telling patient on the phone and in person that they would have to phone at 8sm the following day as they had no places available for emergencies....there was only me and another in the surgery at the time! and that was at 10am.! as I said lucky it was not me on that phone....:-)

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