"I found the experience miserable and lost a lot of faith in the consultant"

About: Gilbert Bain Hospital / Accident & emergency Gilbert Bain Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I had an appointment at the fracture clinic at 09h45 in mid February to review my broken wrist and have a Delta cast fitted. I was in a great deal of pain and had been sick the morning of my appointment. I was seen by the consultant. Whilst discussing the pain I was in, he told me that I shouldn't need any pain relief by this point and rather than offering an alternative to my current medication, I was just told not to take anything.

I was then sent for X-rays and on return to the specialist, I was told that should I have any problems with my arm or cast, that I was to come to A&E in Lerwick as wouldn't be able to get help on the Isles. Having exceptional locum doctors and a team of excellent nurses I felt this advice was strange. I had travelled a long way to attend the appointment and had my cast fitted over four hours after my arrival.

When we finally got to A&E for the new cast to be fitted the nurses were exceptional, friendly and attentive, but overall I found the experience miserable and lost a lot of faith in the consultant.

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Responses

Response from NHS Shetland

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this feedback. In normal circumstances, a wrist fracture in a well fitting plaster should have stoped requiring analgesia by 1-2 weeks after injury, which may explain why your plaster needed to be changed. One possible cause of sickness can be analgesia which may explain the advice you were given to stop taking it. I am sorry if you felt you were not being listened to regarding the pain you were in.

Unfortunately the Accident and Emergency plaster room and x-ray department can become congested and consultation, removal of a plaster, x-ray, consultation and further plaster can take some considerable time (two hours would be the optimum time, but in busy periods this can be up to four hours).

The advice you were given about returning to A&E with any problems with your arm or cast is correct as there is equipment required for adjustment which is not available on the outer isles.

I hope this response is helpful, however if you wish to discuss your concerns in greater detail please get in touch through the Feedback and Complaints Officer Carolyn Hand on 01595 743064.

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