"Callousness on the part of Surgical Appliance Dept. of Princess Royal Hospital, Farnborough Kent "

About: Princess Royal University Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

In June of this year, my wife saw a registrar at Princess Royal Hospital (PRUH) in Farnborough. My wife is elderly and disabled.

She was complaining that the fingers of her right hand were being pushed sideways and that she was in excruciating pain.

The registrar ordered an immediate X-ray which showed that the fingers were in danger of dislocation and that she was probably suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis which should be investigated separately.

Meanwhile as a palliative measure, the doctor ordered that her fingers be put in splints immediately and, after telephoning the officer on duty at the Surgical Appliance Unit asking for immediate attention, sent her across the corridor to the Appliance Unit.

It was late afternoon on a Friday (also it was the Football World Cup week) and it seemed to me that the staff of the Appliance Unit were in a hurry to pack up for the week. The member of staff in charge was very brusque towards us and said that taking measurements would require at least 30 minutes and that nothing can be done at that time and that we will be sent an appointment in few days. The promised appointment took another 2 weeks to come. Meanwhile my wife continued to suffer.

However, the Orthotist on duty at this later appointment was very kind and taking the measurements said that the splints will have to come from America and will probably take two weeks. It is now the 2nd of Aug, more than 3 weeks later and nothing has happened. Not hearing from the Applianace Unit I called them today on three occasions. One staff member said that they were having problems with the supplier and another said that the order had not been placed as yet and still another said that the splints will be available in another week. No one seemed to know what was happening and neither did they seem to care.

Meanwhile, 6 weeks after being seen by a doctor who ordered immediate attention by the Surgical Appliance Unit, my wife continues to suffer terrible pain and is in risk of dislocating her fingers.

My wife and I are both 80, and additionally my wife is disabled. In the face of what I would call callousness on the part of the PRUH Surgical Appliance Unit, we feel quite helpless.

Can you help in some way?

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