"Rude, uninterested staff. Misdiagnosis. "

About: Stobhill Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as the patient),

For the last four and a half weeks I have been feeling a constant, building pain in my outer forefoot. I am an avid runner and the pain was initially brought on by running and subsequently by walking as the condition worsened. After resting the foot for two weeks, icing it. I spoke to my friend, a physio and sports injury specialist, who suspecting a stress fracture advised me to go to the GP, explain my situation and get an x-ray - knowing the X-ray would come back clean, in the hopes I would then be referred onto someone who could help me.

I did as I was told. Went to my GP who agreed that it did appear to be a stress fracture, that she'd put me through for the X-ray but leave a note on my file expressing her concern that it is a stress fracture.

The X-Ray department at New Stobhill Hospital were incredibly helpful, quick and pleasant. The X-ray did infact come back clean and I was told I was free to go home. I mentioned to the technician that I had a note on my file expressing concern at a stress fracture, which as was well established, would not show up on X-ray. I was then instructed to go to minor injuries where I would have I my foot checked over and possibly have it strapped or reinforced; since my walking any distance is now painful and awkward.

Upon arrival at minor injuries I was met with puzzled faces and an aggressively questioning nurse who claimed to have heard nothing from X-ray as to my injury. After 45 minutes of waiting the same nurse re-appeared asking me to explain what I was doing here. For perhaps the third or fourth time that day I explained, at length my situation and the concerns of both my physio and my GP. She then disappeared, telling me she had to speak to a senior nurse. A further 30 minutes passed before I was called into the treatment room, I had no sooner crossed the threshold before the same nurse demanded I explain my situation. Again. The door closed and I heard an exasperated sigh and a female voice asking where i was. The door opened and in came the senior who made it very plain I was inconveniencing them. For the fifth time, I explained my situation and was met with yet another sigh, and a very incredulous tone asking me if I had come in here looking for painkillers? . I was, disparagingly told that 'foot injuries are immobilised'. I didn't think it was prudent to remind them that broken bones tend to need immobilisation...

It seemed further explanation of my injury was required. I explained, yet again that I run, the pain comes on gradually but fairly quickly when running and forces me to stop. I explained it was pain free at rest and painful when walking. Not once did was I actually asked any of this, I volunteered this information out of frustration. They did not ask to look at my foot nor did they seem at all interested.

I was, in the end, patronisingly told to go home and take anti-inflammatory; and if the pain continues 6-8 weeks down the line then I should come back.

The following day I went to the sports injury friend who looked it over and diagnosed it in seconds as being a stress fracture, put me in a cam walker and advised I do not take anti inflamatories as they hinder bone repair.

Had it not been for that friend who very generously gave up his time I would have gone completely un-diagnosed and no doubt left with a myriad of further problems and god knows how long I would have been sidelined. I am so disappointed to have been treated with such hostility and annoyance. Untreated stress fractures develop into full blown fractures and cause deformation when not allowed to heal correctly.

It's nice to know a foot injury is of no importance to the NHS and that my treatment is of no interest.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Dear Ashrunner

Thanking you for taking the time and trouble to provide your feedback. We are sorry to hear about your treatment at the Minor Injuries Unit at Stobhill. I will ensure that your comments are passed on to the relevant department.


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