"Delays, frustration and non-existent communication"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

I have never complained about the NHS before but the way my son has been treated or not treated to be more accurate is plainly unacceptable. He was first seen on 9th June in fracture clinic with an Achilles/calf muscle injury. The doctor told him he would need an ultrasound scan to assess the extent of the injury and in the meantime to wear an Airboot as a precaution. After a week no scan appointment appeared. I rang the consultant's secretary to enquire and was told not to expect to receive an appointment for at least 3 weeks. On 9th July, still no appointment. I called again and asked if she could at least check if a scan had been requested, after saying she had no access to that information she was finally persuaded to check. I had a call the next day to say the appointment was on the 21st July and letter had been sent out and that the delay was because the consultant needed to be there for the scan. My son had the scan with the technician (no consultant) on 21st who questioned why he was having a scan so long after the injury, he checked and the scan had only been requested on 9th July. He said the tendon looked intact and that he would get the results back to the consultant that day. I rang the secretary to ask if we could get someone to look at the scan results quickly given the delays, she said it was not possible. I asked if anyone in the team could look at the scan results and call my son to explain the next steps, she said she would check and call back but did not. We have been trying to contact her since but the phone goes to answer phone. Today I asked the switchboard to put me through to one of the other secretaries in that area, while she was understanding she could not help. We now have no idea of what happens next or when, my son does not know if he needs to continue wearing the Airboot. A relative who is a physio has told us that as the injury was not assessed properly he may have been wearing it unnecessarily and it may be doing more harm than good. I am at a loss what to do next other than maybe find the relevant department in person and refuse to leave until they do something. I have lost confidence in the QMC.

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Responses

Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties your son has had following his injury. The communication you have described is not what we would expect to happen with any of our patients. Please do contact me directly on 0115 9249924 ext 62001 and I will be pleased to look into this matter for you with relevant clinical colleagues.

Andrew Steggles

Patient Experience Officer, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust