"Dislocated wrist but hospital of no help"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

To start of with, I was referred to for an x-ray by my GP for my injured wrist which was the only care that went smoothly. This was 12th October.

Following the x-ray I was told to go to urgent care centre. At first the wait was not that long, I saw the nurse within the hour who tried to manipulate my wrist and asked that I go for a 2nd x-ray.

This is where the trouble starts.

First, they prints off the wrong x-ray sheet because they had me mixed up with another person, which I didn't find out until I got to the x-ray centre. When I went back to get it rectified, they were gone and I had to wait for another half hour.

After getting the x-ray done, I am told by the same nurse that the on-duty orthopaedic will see me within half hour.

7 hours go by before I am seen again. Even after numerous enquiries which started from 6pm onwards. First I am told the orthopaedic is on their way and I am first on the list. Next I am told they are in surgery and they (the nurses) do not know when they'll be coming out. After, I am told they are seeing other patients even though I am first on the list.

When I finally see the doctor at 12.30am, I had at the hospital since 4pm and had been waiting for the orthopaedic since ~5.30pm. The orthopaedic claimed I had 'fallen through the cracks' and they didn't know they had a patient waiting. This is despite the nurses claiming they had been trying to contact them since 8pm.

I see the doctor for 5 minutes after which they disappear before I can ask any more questions. And I wait for the nurses for another 1.5 hours before the backslab is placed. It is 2am when I leave the hospital.

When I try to get an appointment for the fracture clinic, I am told I need to wait till the following Thursday because the cast needs to set. Even not being a doctor, I am certain this is the wrong information as the x-ray did not show any cracked bones. I get an appointment for 22nd.

I see the doctor within an hour of my appointment time, at which I am told I need to wait for a CT scan and will be referred to the radiology department.

I wait for a letter. I did not receive one. I called the radiology department 3 times. They still have not received my referral 1 week later. I ask how long the waiting time for a CT scan is if I get a referral. I am told 6 weeks.

6 weeks in a cast I may not need. 6 weeks of having my muscles atrophy and requiring more healing time.

My hand is now going numb and I can barely feel my fingers. I go back to my GP to see what recourse of action there can be. They called the hospital but does not get an answer either.

So now I wait, not knowing if I will be seen at all and when. In the meantime, I cannot move my fingers much because my hand has gone numb.

Before you reply about sending in a complaint, I have. I did not get a reply.

Is this how patients are treated at your hospital? Impersonally and without respect nor care?

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

I would to start by apologising for the poor experience you have recently had whilst attending the service at Lewisham Hospital

As part of your complaint to our PALS team we have started an investigation and we will be responding to you directly.

I have dealt with the investigation request myself today and have contacted you directly with the details.

I hope that this is to your satisfaction.

Karin Hofmeijer Service Manager Orthopaedics Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

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