Patient angry over long wait

AN upset patient has today urged others to learn from her experience after she was left distressed when she visited a minor injuries clinic.Jo Porter, of Benacre Road, Ipswich, decided to visit the town's Riverside Clinic in Landseer Road instead of Ipswich Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department when she woke in the early hours of Sunday, August 24, with severe abdominal pains.

AN upset patient has today urged others to learn from her experience after she was left distressed when she visited a minor injuries clinic.

Jo Porter, of Benacre Road, Ipswich, decided to visit the town's Riverside Clinic in Landseer Road instead of Ipswich Hospital's Accident and Emergency Department when she woke in the early hours of Sunday, August 24, with severe abdominal pains.

There she said she waited in agony for 45 minutes before she was seen and told she needed to go the A&E - leaving her distressed and angry at the level of care she received.

Mrs Porter, 28, said: “I began to feel faint and couldn't breathe so asked my husband to take me to A&E. We decided to go to Riverside Clinic as it is closer to our house and we thought A&E would be crowded with Saturday night casualties.

“There was nowhere to lie down so I sprawled across the children's chairs, as there was nobody else in the waiting room.

“I lay there in the most pain I have ever felt in my life trying to hang on and not pass out while my husband fanned me with a children's book. After approximately 45 minutes I begged him to find someone to help so he called NHS Direct and they said he must try attracting someone's attention at the clinic.

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“He returned to the front door and rang the buzzer again. He was told to be patient as there was a skeleton staff and we would have to wait longer at A&E.”

Eventually Mrs Porter was seen by a doctor who said she should go to A&E. An ambulance arrived about 45 minutes later and she was diagnosed with Biliary Colic, a type of gallstones.

A spokesman for NHS Suffolk, the county's primary care trust, said: “We are sorry to hear of Mrs Porter's experience on 24 August and have received her letter of complaint, which the Riverside Clinic is now looking into.

“We make every effort to ensure that people know where to go for treatment. The minor injuries units in Suffolk provide help for minor injuries and complaints, including cuts, sprains, strains, bites, infected wounds, minor head injuries, minor eye infections and minor burns.

“We urge that any patients or family member who is unsure where to go for treatment should first call NHS Direct, where professionals can recommend the best course of action for medical treatment from the symptoms described.”

How have you found the Riverside Clinic? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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