"A&E and Orthopeadics at Huddersfield RI"

About: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Last week I fell injuring my left hand, left ribs and left shoulder. I went to Huddersfield A & E

Triage arranged for me to have three x-rays of my shoulder but said the treatment staff would give me details of my injuries later.

My x-rays were lost in A & E for a period but when I went to the treatment room there is a notice saying the average waiting time is 2 hours. It was actually four and a half hours before the doctor arrived. I answered all his questions but when asked, he refused to let me see the x-rays and also when asked, he refused to provide any details of my injuries. He did say that my injuries were complex and that I would have to be admitted as an inpatient for a period that when asked, he described as some time between a day and a week.

Orthopaedics would phone me the next morning with the arrangements for my admission. The doctor wanted a slab plaster putting on my left shoulder for overnight stability but there was no person in A & E that had the capability to fit this plaster. I received no treatment apart from codeine and a sling and left 5 hours without receiving any remedial treatment. I still did not know my injuries nor treatment but I DID know that I was to be admitted as in inpatient the following day.

Someone from Ward 20 phoned at about 08:30 the next morning to say I did not need an operation and that someone would contact me "later" with my appointment details. She did not explain what she meant by "later".

At about 10:45 I phoned Orthopeadics and they told me that Ward 20 had made an appointment for me at the start of October, four weeks hence. I considered it to be unacceptable that I should have to wait for four weeks before Huddersfield RI would give me details of my injuries or to provide any treatment for them. The person on the phone tried to transfer me to the doctor’s secretary but there was only a recorded message requesting my name and phone number which I left. I then phoned Orthopeadics again and they transferred me to a different doctor’s secretary who agreed that waiting four weeks was too long. She would try to resolve this and phone me back prior to 11:40 to let me know the results. She did not phone me back but I later learned that she had contacted Ward 20.

Because of the lack of response from this secretary, I made an appointment with my GP to be referred to a different hospital that I felt would show more consideration for me. I also wrote a long email of complaint to Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield MP) but unfortunately lost this when my computer crashed.

In the afternoon, Ward 20 phoned to confirm the appointment for 1 October but they told me that it was NOT for admission; it was to attend the fracture clinic as an outpatient. A staff member from Ward 20 confirmed that they had been responsible for the maladministration in A & E that had occurred and they apologised for it. I still did not know the details of my injuries.

It was arranged that I should see someone on Friday so that he could explain my injuries and the proposed treatment.

My meeting with this doctor was relatively amicable. He showed me the x-rays and explained that my humerous was fractured. I should wear a sling for two weeks before seeing him again. He also discovered a fracture in my left hand that had not been discovered by A & E. He did not provide any explanation for my hip injury or treatment. He disagreed with me by saying that I had received the treatment that any patient could reasonably expect and that all patients were treated in an identical manner. Everyone had done all that could be expected of them. I do not know the precise time or date that I became a patient of this doctor. I disagreed with him and told him that after his consultants meeting early on Wednesday morning he had an additional responsibility to ensure that the patients were informed of their injuries and the proposed treatment. He incorrectly thought that this had been carried out. He also said that patients did not have a right to see their x-rays nor to be informed of the details of the proposed treatment. He disagreed with me when I told him that the situation they had created for me was ridiculous. He did however confirm that my disagreement with him would not adversely affect the quality of the medical treatment he provided.

I considered then and still consider now that the explanations provided by this doctor should in reality have been provided by A & E when I first went to A&E or by Orthopedics the following morning.

If the doctor’s statements are true it seems to me that patients like me have no right to know the details of their injuries or the details of any treatment for them and neither do they have a right to see their x-rays. I hope that my unfortunate experience with A & E and orthopaedics does not apply to other patients.

In addition it would be more helpful if patients could rely on statements made by A & E doctors. I felt I was mislead by the A & E doctor.

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Response from NHS Calderdale

Submitted on behalf of Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust:

Thank you for providing feedback on the services you have received from our Trust and we are sorry that you have experienced difficulties. Following direct contact, I can confirm your concerns are now being taken forward and we will be in touch with you further in due course.

PALS Manager

Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

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