In addition to the hundreds of patients who actually turn up to the Unit, there are as well usually dozens of phone calls to answer on any given shift.
Technically the admin staff are not supposed to put calls through to the nursing station when people want advice...they are supposed to be re-directed to NHS Direct...whose algorithms all end up saying: 'Go to hospital' anyway.
But of course the admin staff,with a few exceptions, can't be bothered to deal with the abuse from the callers so put the calls through.
So Sunday afternoon,the Unit is packed with a 3 hour waiting time....and the phone just rings and rings....and rings and rings....and rings some more.
I apologise to the parents of the child I have just examined and answer the phone.
"Minor Injuries Unit...Lucien speaking...how can I help you?"
Do you treat dental abscesses?
"Ja....well...if I think you have an abscess then I'll give you the antibiotics you'll need..."
Oh...don't you pull teeth out there then?
"No...Oddly enough,there are quite strict laws about randomly extracting teeth..."
Oh....but I can get antibiotics from you?
Okay...I'll get my husband to stop in on his way from the supermarket and pick up the medicine then...
"Humm...actually...if you want to be treated ,you have to attend the Unit...its a sort of legal thing..."
Well....I really don't see why I should have to come in....I know I've got an abscess...and I'm cooking the tea ^^
"Well its really very simple..Ma'am....if you want to be treated,you need to come to hospital to be examined...its frankly not negotiable."
Huh...I'll bet you're that fat South African aren't you...I hate you!
"Thank you Ma'am...its all part of the service...happy new year to you too!"
(Note to foreign readers: People in the UK often call their evening meal 'Tea' which may/not include an actual cup of tea)
(Note to UK readers: "Tea"...how quaint...how Victorian)