"Leg injury treatment in A & E"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public who asked not to have their name published. They said…

73 year old man fell and was in pain in lower leg and ankle. He attended A & E – no x-ray carried out. He was told to take paracetamol. Days later, still in a lot of pain he went back to A & E. He still didn’t have an x-ray – he was given stronger painkillers and sent home. He is still in pain and finding walking difficult, but doesn’t see the point of waiting for hours in A & E to be told to take painkillers he could buy from the chemist.

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your comment on Healthwatch.

In regard to us not taking X-rays on either visit, the usual clinical procedure is to physically examine the leg and check the range of movement and the ability to bear weight. If these finding are within a normal range (albeit that the injured part might still be painful), a diagnosis of muscular injury is highly likely and an X-ray not necessary.

On the second visit, although the pain was still present, it seems that the clinical findings were the same and therefore it was probably the right thing to do to increase the strength of the pain killers.

What is not acceptable is that is seems that nobody took the time and trouble to explain to you the reasons for not taking an X-ray nor talk you through the most likely cause of pain and give an estimate of when this might get better. This is a failing on our part and I am sorry about this oversight.

Staff are reminded frequently about the need to actively engage patients in conversation and explanations about the care and treatment they are receiving, and whilst this does happen more than 90% of the time, it appears this did not happen on either of your visits and I do apologise again for that.

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

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