"Really poor care from start to finish"

About: Worthing Hospital

Having arrived in A&E with a hand injury, I knew I would have a long wait and that was as expected. However, once x Rays were completed (radiology staff were lovely) I was told my thumb was broken and to go and make an appointment for the fracture clinic. A simple crepe bandage was applied and that was that. It wasn't until I got home that I realised I had no idea how to self care for this injury for the next week until the clinic appointment. Could I drive, should I rest it, keep it moving etc etc? The bandage fell off within 2 days so I called 111 to ask advice if any support should be reapplied. The member of staff there was horrified that I had been given no support or information and told me to call back A&e. This I did and got an abrupt person who told me that there was nothing wrong with my thumb, I should leave any support off, and "as courtesy to others, cancel my clinic appointment, and get on with things." I was quite upset after this call and spoke to a friend, who also works in medicine. They advised to keep the appointment, as no one should be able to diagnose an injury over the phone! I therefore attended the clinic this morning, expecting a slightly higher level of care, as these were fracture experts. How wrong was I? Another hour wait, which I was expecting and fine with. Once in, the doctor asked if I could touch my little finger with my thumb, which I could not. That was the end of the examination and the doctor disappeared behind the curtain back to their office less than 30 secs after coming in! The nurse went to get a splint and again, that was that. However this time I requested to go back and see the doctor and actually ask for a diagnosis and they did show me the x Rays and said they were inconclusive. I should just wear the splint for 3 weeks and all would be fine. No further x Rays, no proper examination and again, no proper after care advise. I came out in tears, having been made to feel like a time waster but still having a thumb that is in a lot of pain and not functioning! Just to point out, the last time I attended A&e was 18 years ago, with a dislocated elbow, so I'm not exactly a hypochondriac. I feel completely and utterly let down by the service.

Story from NHS Choices

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