"Failed to diagnose a ruptured tendon"

About: York Hospital

I visited A & E on 24 January having damaged my little finger in an accident. The X-Ray revealed a fracture, and my finger was taped to the adjacent finger. I saw an Orthopaedic Surgeon two days later and the finger was taped again. They did not check for any other damage, which is not surprising as they spent so little time with me, and gave the impression that they had far more important things to do. I returned 3 weeks later and saw the same person, who was equally dismissive in their approach. Even though the finger was crooked, floppy and could not be straightened all they offered me was physiotherapy (this was eventually arranged for 7 April). On each occasion they spent less than two minutes with me. I was extremely concerned and unhappy that my finger could be left in this condition by a qualified professional. I was so concerned that I visited Selby A & E on 3 March, but the nurse practitioner I saw was unable to offer a diagnosis or any assistance, other than to suggest I contact the physiotherapy service. I did this, but was unable to get through on the telephone. I sent an email, but it bounced back. In all I waited 7 weeks to see a physiotherapist at Selby Hospital and within 30 seconds they told me what I (and other family and friends) already suspected - that they couldn't help as the tendon is clearly ruptured and will need surgery. In the meantime, I have been left in limbo whilst yet another person makes contact to arrange yet another examination. The eventual outcome has been compromised by the delay, which was totally avoidable had NHS staff been more diligent. What sort of treatment is this, that I can be left with a ruptured tendon for this length of time? At best it is carelessness and at worst medical negligence, and I will be making a formal complaint and a medical negligence claim against York Hospital. Based on my experience, I have no confidence in York Hospital or the NHS in general. The lack of care and attention shown by the staff, and the Orthopaedic Surgeon in particular, is frightening. As a result, a serious condition was left undiagnosed for ten weeks, the outcome has been compromised, and it was all so avoidable.

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Response from York Hospital

Thank you for your posting. We do take comments made very seriously and we would like the opportunity to investigate the particular concerns you have raised. Please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01904 726262 or email pals.york@york.nhs.uk and they will be pleased to help.

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