"My Foot was Broken But No One Told Me"

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary / Accident and emergency Royal Lancaster Infirmary / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Three years ago whilst living in Lancaster I hurt my foot. Having had broken bones before, I did not think that it was broken and so did not go to A&E, however after around a week I was still in a lot of pain so made an appointment with my GP.

They told me I should go to hospital for an X-ray that day.

I went in, waited a while, got called in, had my X-ray taken and waited for the members of staff who I assumed where trainee radiologists due to their unprofessional behaviour, to say something, but they didn't. So I asked if that was it and if they could see any thing, they said they couldn't and then just sort of left me to walk out of the X-ray room without telling me to leave or telling me what to do next, never mind opening the door for me to limp out.

I felt quite confused.

Around a week later I had a phonecall from a member of Staff at my GP surgery. They said, we have your results and your foot is fractured. I said okay and hung up.

Again, feeling very confused...

So called back and said I've just been told my foot is fractured, what do I do now? They said well, isn't it wrapped up? I said no, as nobody had mentioned bandaging it etc. The receptionist was very surprised by this so said that I should go to hospital and get some crutches and that they would ring the hosp to let them know I was coming.

Off I limped to hospital, when I got there they weren't expecting me and didn't know who I was. Because of this, understandably, they said they can't give me crutches without viewing my x-ray. So I waited.

Eventually I got called into a room with a member of staff who was looking at my x-ray and said my foot isn't fractured it's quite clearly broken and will need a cast.

I couldn't believe it! I had been walking around for two weeks on a broken foot with zero medical advice.

So I had it plastered up.

I'm worried because I feel like there were many mistakes made through out the process from mis-diagnosis to poor communication, which lead to my foot taking much longer to heal than it would have had I received the correct treatment straight away.

I understand nothing can be done now. I wish I had known about patient opinion at the time so that I could have had an explanation and hopefully something will have changed so that this doesn't happen again.

So I am writing this in the hope that this will be read and will not happen to anyone else in the future.

I would also like to say the ladies who looked after me in A&E seemed as confused as I was but, regardless, were absolutely lovely, very professional and caring and a credit to the NHS and the hospital.

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Responses

Response from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

We are really sorry that your experience at our hospital wasn’t of the high standard that we expect. So that we can understand what happened and learn from it to make sure it doesn’t happen again, we would like to investigate it thoroughly and respond directly to you.

Therefore, we would really appreciate it if you could contact our Patient Relations team on 01539 716621 to provide us with the details we need to allow us to carry out that work.