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Walk in Medical Center priority waiting system

(60 Posts)
Roseforarose Tue 19-May-15 11:23:53

Just wondered what your thoughts are on the waiting system at these drop in medical centres are. I went to one recently and was told at the reception the waiting time would be approx 2 hours but that they do prioritise on any that come in after if they are deemed worthy of being seen quicker.
I waited 3 hours and many came in after me that got seen fairly quickly. It did seem to cause a bit of resentment amongst the many who had been waiting for ages. It must be very hard to decide who should be seen quicker just going off a very brief description of your ailment to the receptionist.
AIBU to think the system might be a bit fairer?

ShatnersBassoon Tue 19-May-15 11:26:57

A triage nurse decides priority order at my local walk-in centre. It seems to work. Is the receptionist actually a nurse at yours?

MissJoMarch Tue 19-May-15 11:27:54

What makes you think it wasn't fair?

Not all conditions are visible, there will be robust processes in place to ensure critical patient needs are met

You saw a health care professional on demand in about 3 hours, that is amazing, outstanding and free.

DoJo Tue 19-May-15 11:40:24

I can't really think of a fairer way than those in the most need being seen first, but if you can then I am sure the practice would be happy to take your comments on board.

tiggytape Tue 19-May-15 11:43:56

YABU - that is the only way to organise it.
You can't have someone with a potentially quite serious (even if not visible) condition waiting to be seen just because 10 people with sore toes not immediately concerning ailments happened to get there first.

floatyjosmum Tue 19-May-15 11:47:57

Did they have an appointment? Out walk in is the gp out of hours surgery and once my surgery is closed I ring 111 and get a call back from a gp who will give appointments out. Much nicer than a 2-3 hour wait!!

Signlake Tue 19-May-15 11:52:18

Sorry I disagree. The same system is in place at most A&Es too. I fractured my hand last year and had to wait around about three hours too. While I was waiting a few very poorly people arrived (some children) and were all seen before me. I was in pain but their needs came before mine and I felt no resentment at all. I would have felt completely guilty if I'd have been seen before a sick child, even if I arrived hours before them

SueBigFatSue Tue 19-May-15 12:04:41

I prefer it that way. It's nice to know that if you or your child come in very ill, you'll be seen quicker than somebody who's there for a sprained wrist or similar. Its a slight inconvenience to wait but rather me be inconvenienced, than someone to not be seen in time.

KurriKurri Tue 19-May-15 12:07:02

Its not a question of being deemed worthy - that makes it sound as if its something personal - its a medical assessment of your needs. I have no problem waiting with something relatively minor so a person with a more serious complaint get seen quicker. I know that if the situation is reversed,I will get priority treatment.
Everyone was told at your walk in that people were prioritised so they knew the score. I always go to the walk in armed with a good book and expect to be waiting.

Sothisishowitfeels Tue 19-May-15 12:20:52

I have only been to one twice the first I waited about 2 hours - I felt awful as I had mastitis but I am guessing the people ahead of me were more seriously ill. I spent the time dozing on a chair an reading on my phone.

The secong time I skipped the whole queue and got sent to A an E next door!

Unexpected Tue 19-May-15 12:27:08

AIBU to think the system might be a bit fairer? OP, what would your solution be to make things "fairer"?

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 19-May-15 12:40:18

I can not fault our walk in centre, it provides an amazing service that I have used many times when I've been unable to get a Doctors appointment for my children. Yes, there have been occassions when I've had to wait but the appointment has been worth waiting for, in that I have been listened to and the Doctor has always carried out a thorough examination. One time the Doctor was that concerned about Ds he referred us upto AAndE and rung ahead to let them know we would be arriving. I was so grateful for his help and advice.

I've found it is always busy straight after school drop off, so I tend to get there as soon as it opens. I think they are a valuable resource and feel fortunate to have one on our doorstep.

PtolemysNeedle Tue 19-May-15 12:42:08

YABU. The service isn't there to be fair, it's there to provide people with healthcare that they need. How fair it is on waiting times is completely irrelevant and unimportant.

theredjellybean Tue 19-May-15 12:44:05

i work in one...yabu....you got seen in three hours , on demand, and you are thinking it isnt fair ?????

did you even try to get an appt at your own gp surgery ? bet they wouldnt see you in three hours on the day

wish more people realised just how very lucky we are to have a national health service at all . I had a trainee gp with me last week form Nigeria...he could not believe what he saw...and just how we take it all fro granted.

PrincessShcherbatskaya Tue 19-May-15 12:47:20

Certain things reported to the receptionist will raise red flags and be prioritised. If you walk in and say you have chest pain, breathing difficulties, swallowing difficulties or have an unwell child with you for example all of these things will be seen sooner than less urgent things. It's fair. I'm afraid a broken toe or finger that has no obvious signs of bleeding or threatening the circulation is not seen as such a priority, even if it is painful.

Unexpected Tue 19-May-15 12:50:24

Yes, I have had to use the out of hours service on a number of occasions - my DC only seeming to get ill on weekends, at 11 p.m. at night or on New Year's Day. I think it is absolutely amazing to be able to be seen at all, waiting a couple of hours is neither here nor there. On one occasion, I brought asthmatic DS2 who I thought was just a bit extra wheezy. I have no idea if the receptionist was actually a nurse (not to my knowledge) but she took one look, prioritised us, and almost before we had sat down we were seen and being blue-lighted to hospital. I would hope that no-one in the queue who had been waiting for longer begrudged us that priority.

Prioritising the greatest need is the fairest approach. I've been bumped down the queue in a walk in by a sick baby and rightly so. My condition wasn't life threating; the babies might have been.

loveareadingthanks Tue 19-May-15 13:03:28

IT can't be first come, first served, or people will die.

Unfortunately this means that if you are low priority, you will wait, which I know is a pain in the bum but how else can it be organised?

I ama bit off at the idea of receptionists prioritising instead of a proper triage system, as I was a victim of this and ended up having to wait 7 hours to see doctor with a badly broken wrist that needed surgery.

OwenMeanysArmadillo Tue 19-May-15 13:06:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roseforarose Tue 19-May-15 14:12:56

Fair enough, the concensus here is that it's fair, but on the actual day there was a hell of a lot of moaning from people who believed they were being seen in the wrong order. There were one of two who did say their problem was quite trivial and were quite surprised that they got seen so quick ahead of some that did seem in a lot of distress. There was one man who told me he could have gone to his own doctors but the drop in was on his way to work.
Obviously there are people who abuse the system.

Want2bSupermum Tue 19-May-15 14:30:29

We are living in the U.S. and our local urgent care center is good with triage. The receptionist is a nurse and he assigns priority or sends you to A&E. There is a screen in the waiting room with your number and it shows the expected wait. For non urgent cases they have a physician assistant who can prescribe and can give pain medication to those waiting. So while the two doctors see the worst the assistant sees the more minor things like my strep throat or another patient there with mastitis and takes a looks at broken bones, giving the patient pain medication if the pain is really bad. The nurse told me that she looks at the breaks as a priority because if they need surgery they need to go to A&E anyway. No point keeping them in the clinic.

My wait on a Sunday morning was all of 20mins as I saw the nurse who swabbed me. 5 mins later I was on my way.

Naty1 Tue 19-May-15 15:06:52

I went in to the monitoring center at hospital for bleeding in pg.
Aside from making people walk 15min round the building i was amazed to be seen within about 10min. The signs said will be seen in order of need.
However on the other side when i had to come back for an antiD agreed with dr i arrived at 8pm and was waiting till 10pm for it (not handy with a toddler with you).

electionfatigue Tue 19-May-15 15:08:37

Want2bsupermum how much did that visit cost you or your insurance company? Several hundred dollars I'd guess.

Want2bSupermum Tue 19-May-15 15:10:35

Total cost was $120 and I paid 20% as my copay.

Want2bSupermum Tue 19-May-15 15:11:53

Oh and I live just over the water from NYC in Hoboken NJ, not some cheaper area in the south.

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