Got a call from Youngest’s School on Wednesday: she’d fallen in PE, couldn’t put weight on her foot and needed to be fetched home. Mummy to the rescue, of course, but what to do with her? Called at the local GPs to be told we’d have to wait for someone to be free and then a doctor would have to fill in a form and send us to Swindon for an x-ray. They suggested we’d be better going to A&E. Feeling rather guilty I drove to Tetbury, where there is a little part time department. They were very welcoming (despite our Wiltshire address in a Gloucestershire hospital) and within ten minutes we were sat in a room with a very efficient but friendly nurse poking Youngest’s foot. We came away with instructions to keep her foot up and rested for at least 24 hours, to take lots of pills and to walk only with the (demonstrated) crutches provided. Today she has gone to school, clearly fine in herself, but on crutches and putting no weight on her damaged ankle. It would seem the nurse knew what she was doing when she decided not to send the patient for an x-ray; she certainly convinced us it wasn’t necessary.
The hospital was marvelous. They had the time and all was well and Tetbury is only a 15 minute drive from the GP surgery. Although I am slightly puzzled by the advice… I suppose they’d argue there was no guarantee she wouldn’t need an x-ray and as soon as she did they’d made extra work for themselves, but it does seem a bit mad. With GPs running businesses I guess they don’t want anyone hanging about waiting for the possibility of people turning up needing advice now, appointments today are rarely available.