"Delays in getting satisfactory treatment after a road accident"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics University Hospital Lewisham / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

In August I was knocked off my bicycle in Greenwich town centre by a passenger opening a car door without checking the road was clear.

I flew off my bike and landed heavily on my shoulder, right on the point where I'd had surgery four years previously. I was in pain and had restricted movement of my arm. The paramedic who attended the scene took me to Lewisham Hospital A&E. I explained the accident, that my shoulder felt just as it had done when it needed surgery four years earlier. I asked for an MRI scan to determine the extent of the damage. A doctor listened politely and told me to go home and take a painkiller, and see my GP in two weeks if I still had trouble.

Two weeks later I saw my GP, who arranged an appointment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, with a doctor who was supposed to be a shoulder expert. In October a doctor gave me an ultrasound scan and said they didn't know what the problem was, and said I should see a shoulder specialist.

An appointment was made for December.

In October I had my first physio appointment. From the restricted movement and the movement that gave me pain the physiotherapist said it appeared to be a problem with the Acromioclavicular joint.

I received a letter from QEH informing me I was going to be able to see a shoulder specialist in November. The specialist said I should have an MRI scan.

I have received a letter telling me my scan is scheduled for December. By then it will be four months and a week since a doctor at Lewisham Hospital A&E told me to take a painkiller.

I still have restricted movement and pain.

The NHS has effectively done nothing except tell me to take painkillers and give me a piece of elastic to do some exercises with.

In addition to my restricted arm movement and regular pain during this time, which now affects me even when just turning the pages of a newspaper,

I have been seen by a paramedic, my GP, a physiotherapist and three hospital-based doctors in order to just reach the stage of having the MRI scan that I asked for on the day of the accident.

I would like to know if this is regarded as an efficient use of resources and a good procedural system in patients' best interests?

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust would like to apologise that your experiences with our trust did not meet your expectations. We would like an opportunity to discuss this with you so if you would be so kind as to contact our PALS service at University Hospital Lewisham on 020 8333 3355 where we will initiate our investigations. Glen Davidson Patient Experience Manager University Hospital Lewisham Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust

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