"a&e and outpatients."

About: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

2 and a half years ago i went to a&e complaining of a knee problem. The wait was 3 hours and then a further hour after having an x ray. They said, "i'm sorry, there is no underlying problem" so put me in a splint and on crutches for 2 weeks to get me out as quick as pos (this, is understandable), however the problem wasn't fixed. From july 2011 - august 2013, i had 2 physio courses and a mind numbing 10+ outpatients appointments which all began with the sentence "so, how did you do this injury". You'd think that because you are a patient with numerous recurring appointments you'd have some notes perhaps? No. Each time was a different doctor who each time looked at my knee, played with it and prodded it and each time said "we'll see you in 6 months time." In 2012, I was seen by a new doctor, and he advised that i had a MRI scan to see if it was anything deeper. So in june, i had the scan and two weeks later the results were that i had a "slight swelling on the cartlige". Never in my life have I been so disappointed. My symptoms and restrictions of the injury did not fit this explanation at all. However, in good old RSH style, they sent me home as if I was some sort of idiot who was lying and just wanted attention. I'm a footballer and since 2011 haven't played anything. In july 2013, I injured it again by the slightest of movement, i couldn't walk or hobble or anything. My dad picked me up from school and took me to hospital where I had an x-ray, again, and a 2 hour wait, for the nurse to reply again "sorry there is no evident problem, but you're obviously struggling to walk so i'll get you some crutches." By this point i'd had enough, so my dad went to our family doctor requesting some better treatment because so far it was dissatisfying and he recommended oswestry hospital. In september last year, i had my first appointed where my consultant said "you can have an MRI here because the quality is better and i can see deeper." I had this in october, and the results were - not swelling - but a slight tear of my cartlige. Though he was reluctant to operate, he did so and I had a slot on the 17th January 2014. He came to see me after and said "alice, i'm glad we operated, you've stretched you're cruciate ligament, and teared most of your carltige tissue in your knee. Theres also alot of it floating around." How one does not spot this in 2 years at a hospital with multiple doctors all looking at the scan, I do not understand. I spent 2 years 1 month at shrewsbury hospital hoping for an outcome - nothing. 4 and half months at oswestry and i'm now on the road to recovery from something that has been the worst experience of my life. the moral is, don't use shrewsbury hospital if you are struggling with an on going problem, it's as if the nurses can't be bothered, there's always something bothering them and it's unacceptable. NB: I do hope you realise i know that there are more important patients than me, who have cancer, and i totally respect that.

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Responses

Response from Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. I am really pleased to hear that this is resolved for you, but sorry to hear about your frustration since your first visit to hospital. Now, unfortunately cartilage damage can be difficult to diagnose. You can find out more about this on the Cartilage Damage pages on this NHS Choices website at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cartilage-damage. This page describes how diagnosing cartilage damage can be challenging - for example, as xrays show images of bones they are not very good at identyifying ligament damage; MRI scans are good at diagnosing ligament damage, but not all parts of the NHS provide rapid access to MRI scans; often the first course of treatment will be more conservative, using physiotherapy and painkillers. Other medical websites also describe how surgery may not necessarily be appropriate until the joints have stopped growing, so it is possible that any discussions about surgery needed to wait until your joints were more fully developed. But, whilst there may have been appropriate reasons for the time between your initial visit to A&E and your recent surgery it is clear that this has been frustrating for you and it appears that this was not necessarily properly communicated with you. I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately the NHS Choices website does not share your contact details with us, but if you would like to discuss any aspect of your care with someone in the Trust then please do contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). Whilst this cannot address the frustration you have experienced, it could would help us to improve communication for other people who find themselves in a similar position. Information about how to contact PALS is available from our website at http://www.sath.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/pals/default.aspx Thanks again for sharing your experience with us, which we will use as part of our training and development with staff. Adrian Osborne Communications Director

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