"A learning exercise! Please profit from it."
About: Darlington Memorial Hospital Darlington Memorial Hospital Darlington DL3 6HX
Just over 5 weeks ago my wife was seen by the fracture clinic and fitted with a padded foot cast & a strap-on bootee (for a stress fracture). She was given no guidance regarding pain relief or whether to exercise or not - just told to keep her weight off the cast for 20 minutes while it hardened. Her follow up appointment was last Thursday Dec 19th. She was seen promptly and on time; but as in her previous visit to the clinic she was given no guidance or instructions regarding what to expect in the next few weeks while further healing took place. The cast was removed and when the member of staff saw that my wife could put weight on the foot she was told "that's fine, go home". There was no follow-up x-ray taken to check that healing had taken place nor was there any manipulation to check the structures in the foot. Friday night was a nightmare! The foot was very painful in approximately the same area as the stress fracture so you can guess what thoughts were exercising our minds that night - certainly not sleep. I took her to A & E on Saturday morning and when she was seen by a nurse practitioner she was told that a certain amount of pain was likely for a couple of weeks or so while the structures in the foot got accustomed to being used again after 5 weeks of inactivity - ie. everything was fine just take pain relief as required. The nurse also commented that this was not the first instance of A & E dealing with patients who had not been fully informed and instructed by the fracture clinic. I feel that this issue needs to be dealt with as a learning exercise for an improved service in the future. I also feel that my wife is due an apology and explanation of how this situation could have come about.