"Awful awful awful"

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

I visited Queens A&E very reluctantly on a Monday evening having picked up a running injury over the weekend. I had a sharp pain right on the bone in my lower leg, after reading on the internet, I learnt this type of pain is common for stress fractures which are a common injury in long distance runners. Especially tibial stress fractures where my pain was exactly. Hoping it was nothing to serious I came into A&E and was seen within 30 mins. Within 2 minutes I was told I needed an X-Ray and was sent down to the emergency care unit.... The room was packed full and I was forced to wait on the window ledge outside the door. Thinking I was waiting for an X-Ray I waited for 4 hours, until I was seen. I was called into a room and was told that there is no chance it would be a stress fracture because these are extremely rare. I'm not doubting the nurses capability, however if she took into account the amount I was running, the surface and where the pain was I would have considered it actually to be quite likely. However under perception she would give me an x-ray she then sent me back to a room right next to where the first doctor was to get an x-ray. This involved another hour long wait. Why did the first doctor not send me for an x-ray? I waited 4 hours to be told the same thing. Plus no pain killers were offered at either point in time. Eventually after getting the x-ray was sent back down the corridor, I waited for another 30 mins until I was finally told I was fine. I was told to take paracetamol and go home with no advice on what the injury was. I was not warned that stress fractures often don't show upon x-rays because they are so small, i had to find this out on the internet myself. After paying tax too support this service, I had spent 4 hours sat on a window sill to then be told the same thing twice, and sent home without a diagnosis or any way to stop the pain. The following day I forked out and went to see a specialist, at just over £60 an hour I was reluctant to do this. However within 5 mins he was able to tell me there was no stress fracture, diagnose me with a bio mechanical deficiency, and begin to reduce the pain. Why was the NHS not able to tell me what was wrong? Completely disappointing at this service, and am begin to sway towards private healthcare.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen's Hospital

Thank you for leaving your comment on NHS Choices. I am very sorry that you feel your experience in our A&E department was disappointing. I am concerned that after you were eventually sent for an x-ray, you were discharged without a diagnosis and felt the need to visit a private service. To investigate this for you, I will need more information. Please contact me through our PALS team on 01708 435 454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk. Yours sincerely Flo Panel-Coates Director of Nursing

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