"Non-existent follow-up care"

About: Alexandra Hospital

My very active and alert 80 year old mother broke her ankle in 3 places after a fall.

I cannot fault the care she received starting with the paramedics, through to A&E and finally ward 17.

She was in hospital for a week before the swelling had subsided enough for the operation she required to pin and plate her ankle.

She then remained in for another week before being discharged.

On discharge, she was told the plaster would need to come off after another 5 weeks and that she'd be notified by post of her appointment.

When she was home I questioned if she was sure about that as I felt the stitches would surely need to be removed before then, but she was adamant that is what she was told.

After 4 and a half weeks and no appointment letter or follow-up contact of any sort, my mother rang the fracture clinic and they booked her in for the removal of the cast, exactly 6 weeks since it had been put on.

When she got there and had it removed, they were horrified that the stitches had not been removed.

Apparently this should have happened within 2 weeks of the operation when she should also have been re- xrayed.

They said she was extremely fortunate that there was no infection in the wound and it had healed well despite the neglect.

If it had been infected the outcome could have been very serious, so I am told.

I am not normally one to make an issue of things but in this case I feel I need to raise some awareness to make sure others do not fall through the net like my mum.

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Responses

Response from Alexandra Hospital

Sue, thank you for taking the time to feedback to us, we would like to look into this in more detail on your mother's behalf. Can I please ask you to contact our Patient Services Department at your convenience so that we may obtain more information? We can be contacted either by telephone 0300 123 1732 or email patientservices.dept@worcsacute.nhs.uk.

I would like to reassure you that we take seriously any issues our patients and families raise with us and we value your feedback.

Kind Regards

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