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"Fracture clinic frustration at Treliske"

About: Patient Opinion Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I have two negative and one postive comment to make about the fracture clinic at Treliske Hospital in Truro, so I'll use the sandwich technique! I want to be constructive in my criticisms, though. This is not just whingeing. 1. Confidentiality. This is neglected, carelessly rather than deliberately. I was called through into the cubicle to be seen by the consultant. The area behind, separated by a curtain, was used by doctors to dictate letters to GPs about patients they had seen. On one occasion (Cornwall being a small place) I knew the person who was having the details of his accident, injuries and progress dictated into a tape. I felt really embarrassed, like it was my fault I was eavesdropping. 2. Consistency. I saw a senior consultant on each visit. They gave me consistent and almost identical advice, which was incredibly helpful and reassuring. 3. Time management. I have, so far, made 4 trips to fracture clinic. At least three were unnecessary. I had an unstable fracture which needed to be immobilised and needed a weekly xray to ensure that it had not slipped (which would have needed surgery). I live 25 miles from the hospital, and could not drive with a broken arm. The round trip, by train and walking (including hanging around in the clinic for 2 hours) took about 7 hours. My local hospital with xray facilities is three miles from where I live. Cornwall uses webpacs (a system for sending xrays electronically). I could have gone to the local xray department, had my xray and then a booked telephone consultation with the consultant. Either he could tell me that it was fine and to repeat the process the following week, or that it wasn't and that I needed to go up to have it pinned. This would clearly have been better for me, and would have reduced pressure on the overbooked clinics. A win-win, surely? Finally, it's great to have an opportunity to give feedback like this. I was worried about giving feedback directly to the hospital. There's a fear, possibly unfounded, of being labelled a troublemaker or difficult patient. Yet we are the ones who have the experience of using hospitals, and are usually full of ideas about how things could be improved.
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