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....to make a complaint about a nurse at my surgery?

(17 Posts)
kinderfool Mon 06-Jul-09 17:12:31

Posted this as part of another issue but have been considering making a complaint for a couple of days and wondering if I'm BU.

Went to see nurse at gp practice last weds because dd has a head wound (from scratching, not from injury) and it was getting worse so needed help dealing with it. Went in to see nurse, she had an injection already laid out on her desk but I didn't think anything of it, thought it might be for next appt (unusual in hindsight but didn't cross my mind).

The minute I sat down the nurse started talking about dd's tetanus etc immunisation, as she hadn't had the pre-school one (6yo now). Long story why she hadn't but I'd talked to the surgery about this at length before and made my reasons clear why dd wouldn't be having it until 6-7 and I'd arrange for it when I wanted to. But nurse had basically decided while she had us there she was doing it then.

I was shocked but quickly thought it over and had been intending to do it this summer so thought dd might as well have it then. Then afterwards tried to discuss the head wound with the nurse, the whole reason I was there, and she brushed me off with advice to just bathe it and it would get better (hindsight now proving that to be rubbish). Barely spent 30 seconds talking about it.

At the time I'd had a terrible nights sleep and just left without a fuss but have been getting more and more steaming thinking about it. Looking back it was completely inappropriate to literally pounce on me (and dd) because I'd arranged an appt for medical help. And seeing as dd's head has since got worse she may actually have caused harm by neglecting to help with the problem we went about.

Am I right to be fuming now and make a complaint or am I blowing it out of proportion?

scratchet Mon 06-Jul-09 17:22:50

The nurse probably would not have known what the appointment was for. Didn't you point out initially that the appt wasn't for the injection but for the head wound?

babyicebean Mon 06-Jul-09 17:26:14

Talk to the practice manager before you make a complaint, ours is fab as they go.

LIZS Mon 06-Jul-09 17:28:39

She presumably asked why you were there, probably not knowing in advance, and gave you advice accordingly - maybe fairly standard but most times it would probably have been sufficient. Unless she was actually negligent - ie. it was obviously infected and she didn't suggest it might need ab's - I think you'll just have to remember to be more assertive next time and stick to the point. You could have refused the tetanus but such appointments are also an opportunity for them to suggest it.

LaDiDaDi Mon 06-Jul-09 17:29:32

I would talk to the practice manager as it does sound a bit bizarre.

When in the appointment did she ask you what you were there for?

moopymoo Mon 06-Jul-09 17:29:41

from what you say yabu. tetanus shot will have come up automatically on the appointment system no doubt,they are very necessary, plus she did have a quick look at the head thing and said it was no cause for concern. you then said ok and left? what did she do wrong? am I missing something?

brimfull Mon 06-Jul-09 17:31:17

You really should have said you wanted different plan for the head wound.
Why not go back and say you have tried that method and need more help.

What would you say in your complaint?

kinderfool Mon 06-Jul-09 17:34:12

Sorry, should have said - our surgery is one of the 'interrogation' ones, where you have to explain everything to the receptionist, then they tell the gp/nurse who then allows you to make an appt, so she would have known what it was for anyway. But once I realised she was expecting to give dd the imm I explained what we were there for, expecting her to realise there'd been a mistake but she said "yes, but we'll just sort the immunisation out first" so she definitely knew I hadn't been expecting it.

She even waited in silence after I said I had to think about it, thought about it, decided I might as well do it while I was there, and while I talked to dd about it to prepare her, so she had plenty of time to realise we hadn't booked in for it. Don't think I'd be so cross about the 'pouncing' if she'd then given our actual problem some real consultation time but she didn't even do that.

Will talk to the practice manager then, never even spoken to them (don't go to gp much) but will give it a go.

daftpunk Mon 06-Jul-09 17:34:18

are you annoyed because dd's head got worse?..

kinderfool Mon 06-Jul-09 17:41:16

I think the main thing I'd want to complain about is that she had the injection out and waiting, ie was set on giving it, and then didn't seem to want to give any time to the head wound, even though I'd made it clear that was why we were there and that I was worried it was infected. She took a very cursory glance and then just suggested bathing it, which I explained I been doing for at least a week and it was getting worse, but she just said to keep doing it.

Agree that I should be more assertive though, was a bad time but should have pushed the point more. Just think she should have dealt with the issue we made an appt for first, as I'm convinced she'd had enough explanation that it wasn't the jab, and then spent time on the jab issue.

bigchris Mon 06-Jul-09 17:42:51

she sounds to me like she was just doing her job tbh

my nurse did the same when I hadn't had my smear, she said 'lets do it now to get it over with' luckily I had my period but she made me book an appointment there and then for next week

daftpunk Mon 06-Jul-09 17:44:30

yes..i agree with you, she should deffo have paid more attention to dd's head....(i don't think i'd complain though..)

hope dd is ok now smile

MummyDragon Mon 06-Jul-09 18:55:48

Sorry - but oh, for goodness' sake!!!

She "was set on giving it" (the injection) was she?? She didn't force you at gunpoint.

Why didn't you insist that the nurse spend more time looking at DD's head wound (why didn't you believe her initial recommendation anyway?), and why didn't you take DD to a GP who was qualified to prescribe medication and insert stitches etc as necessary?

And quite frankly, wasn't the nurse doing her job in offering you the TETANUS (i.e. shot that kills deadly cut-entering germs) shot?

The fact that you'd had a sleepless night is not the nurse's fault.

There are many, many valid complaints that can be made against the NHS. My mum dying in a filthy hospital ward after catching infections from visitors and being misdiagnosed 3 times by so-called "doctors" is one of them. A nurse offering your DD a life-saving vaccination isn't.

rubyslippers Mon 06-Jul-09 18:58:56

you are in no way right to be fuming

all you needed to say was "thanks but no thanks to the injection" and "i am here for this head wound"

it must have taken her a minute or two to get your DD prepared for it so you had time - i assume she didn't pin your DD down to do the injection

cheshirekitty Mon 06-Jul-09 19:26:43

If your daughter has a nasty head wound, then she needs her tetanus injection, tbh.

Do not think this is really a valid thing to make a complaint about.

AnyFucker Mon 06-Jul-09 19:42:03

head wound = needs tetanus more than ever

I think you are over-reacting and if you try to make a complaint, it will just sound silly and a bit mad, tbh

WildSeahorses Tue 07-Jul-09 09:52:11

YANBU. A patient should not need to be assertive in order to receive treatment for the issue that they went to see the doctor about in the first place. It's all very well saying that people should be more pushy, but some people find this extremely difficult - especially when dealing with people in "official" positions.

Offering the tetanus jab was fine IMO (although bad practice to have already drawn the vaccine into the syringe - after all, you may not have wanted to accept the jab and then the vaccine would have been wasted).

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