"A catalogue of miscommunication and indifference"
About: Leeds General Infirmary Leeds General Infirmary Leeds LS1 3EX
Posted by Nath
I recently broke both my wrists in an accident at work. I am self employed and in a job which requires full use of my hands and arms, which is therefore extremely important to my livelihood. After initially being treated quite brilliantly in St.James' A&E I was then sent to LGI and since then I have been baffled by the treatment. My first cause for concern was when after having a CT Scan I was informed that I would be contacted by the fracture clinic that next day. There was no call and so I made the call myself to LGI later that day to be told that they would find out and call back. The day after that I was called by LGI to be informed that although one of my wrists was of concern, that it would not be treated by the specialist hand team but by another doctor that came in once a week. Alarm bells did ring at this point but I had no means of knowing who the doctor was or how the system worked. The nurse who called couldn't explain anything to me because she wasn't qualified and the doctor who was treating me wouldn't be available for a week, although had been there the previous day. At this point I accepted that my only option was to take an appointment with the doctor a week later and go from there. This week I returned to LGI in the general orthopaedics dept for my appointment. On walking into orthopaedics I was gobsmacked by the amount of people, at one point they had to go get more chairs for a room that couldn't really take anymore. Staff looked stressed but to their credit they were very professional and dealt with elderly people and children who had been waiting there if like me for over 2 hours after their appointment time. Waiting is not an issue to myself as I understand that A&E patients understandably take priority. My issue is that within this strained department mistakes will be made. The mistakes that I believe in my case are as follows: My consultant for my wrist was a foot and ankle specialist My consultant advised me he couldn't refer me for a second opinion to the hand clinic and that I must go through PALS or my GP. On contacting PALS they rightly advised me that this was not their role to refer but my consultant should have done this or go through GP. I fail to understand why I would be given such advice. My GP advised me that he couldn't refer me for a second opinion because the referral would take me pretty much back to the fracture clinic that advised me to go to my GP, making a circle that I was struggling to get out of. To be fair to the GP he said he would try contacting the hand specialist but I wasn't fully sure how he would do this. The return card for my ct scan was not sent through for the following days appointment, which meant a member of staff on the CT ward wasted 45 minutes contacting orthopaedics who had no doctor to confirm this because he comes in one day a week. All in all it would seem that this particular part of the NHS is either flawed or intentionally is flawed in it's own ability to communicat