"Misdiagnosi of fracture"

Having fallen on the stairs at my home I was in lot of pain mainly in my left big toeand as I could not drive I had to get there by taxi and hobbled into the waiting area to be informed that there was a wait of 1.30 hours. Approx. 2.30 hrs later I was taken in to see a nurse. I explained what had happened and that I had experienced a strange grating when I moved my big toe. They examined my foot and I was taken to the ex-ray dept. in a wheelchair then returned to the waiting area for another 30 minutes where I was joined by my daughter. I went back to the nurse who showed my daughter and I the x-ray and told me my toe was badly sprained. We both pointed out what looked like a strange piece jutting out from the side of the toe but this was explained as something beginning with 's' which apparently lots of people have. I was told just to ice and elevate it and the x-ray would be sent to Lincoln hospital for verification, if there was anything found I would hear in 7-10 days. I was in a lot of pain and had to crawl up the stairs (2 flights) to my bedroom that evening. When I removed my sock I discovered my big toe and two adjoining toes were varying shades of black, very swollen both on the top and underneath. I phoned my daughter who advised me to phone 111 for advice and having heard all the details and confirmed what time of day the accident occurred I was advised to go to the nearest A&E Dept. within 4 hours. My daughter drove me to the department in Scunthorpe Hospital where I was seen by a doctor and they arranged for another x-ray which when examined confirmed I had in fact fractured my big toe they taped up 2 toes and I was subsequently seen in the fracture clinic and had a toe spike applied to stabilise the toe and enable healing. Whilst I understand the pressures on departments in the NHS this was a clear misdiagnosis which resulted a great deal of wasted time and unnecessary pain for myself. As I am 68 years old and live on my own I had to rely on my daughter to transport me at midnight to the hospital and drive me back after 3.30am which also impacted on her . Surely, in these days of increased technology, staff should be able to correctly diagnose something like a fracture, if I had not contacted the 111 service and followed their advice I would have suffered for a further 10 days of agony and probably done further irreparable damage to my foot

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Response from John Coupland Community Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We strive to provide a high standard of care to patients, families and carers so are dissapointed to hear that this has been your experience . To ensure we make the necessary improvements and learn lessons from the incident we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further. If you feel you wish to do this please contact The Complaints department on 01522 309752 or alternatively email LHNT.LCHSComplaints@nhs.net

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