"Broken Bones and all that!"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

(as a relative),

On 17th November I fell and suffered a spiral fracture to the 5th metarsal in my left foot. Attended small injuries unit at Gravesend and North Kent Hospital. I was seen immediately by a nurse practionier and referred to xray, which confirmed the fracture. A back slab was fitted and I was given an appointment for fracture clinic the following week.

On 24th November, I suffered from chest pain and breathing difficulties and was admitted by ambulance to Darent Valley Hospital. Ambulance arrived quickly and the crew were very good. A & E was a long drawn out procedure, but was eventually admitted to Holly Ward at around 3pm. Various tests were ordered to test for clots and heart irregularities.

I spent about 36 hours on the ward before being released to go home with a further appointment for a 24 hour ECG, which although carried out, has as yet, not been discussed with me, neither has a follow up appointment. Cleanliness in the hospital leaves a lot to be desired. The floor by my bed was sticky with a fluid spill. I asked an orderly to clean it up, she brought in a very dry mop with which she went over the area. It did not smell at all like it had any cleaning fluids and the mop looked very dirty. Many patients came and went on the ward while I was there and although staff changed the bedding as would be expected, they only used some 'wet wipes' to give a cursory clean to the mattresses. I could clearly see missed areas. The lady in the bed next to me had an 'accident' on the floor, which was only wiped up with paper towels by the nurse at the time, no one was called to disinfect the area. Subsequently a new patient was put into the bay and no further cleaning done to the area.

Poor choice of food, most patients were admitted for possible heart problems, and low fat options were not readily available, neither were patients given advice about dietary choices.

I have an inherited condtion called Variegate Porphyria, which can be life threatening. Details were given to the hospital on arrival, and should have been on my notes, with information about unsafe and safe drug options. I was given a drug by a nurse, and when I queried what is was and what it was for, it was not a safe drug for me to take. Had I not queried it, it could have triggered a severe reaction! Needless to say, I refused to take it.

Following on from this, I have been back and forth to the fracture clinic and six weeks after having the cast removed (which I had on for six weeks), I have found that the fracture is still not healed. I was not offered any physio, and had to pay for some myself to get my muscles back to full use. I have been told that the bones will heal in time, and given another appointment for 6 weeks to check the condition again.

I work in the fitness industry and told them this when I first had the accident. All the time the bones are not healing, I am unable to get back to my full working capacity, which is costing me money. Incredibly, at the time that I had this accident, Michael Owen the footballer did exactly the same thing. He had immediate surgery to repair the fracture, had I known then the problems that I have now, I would have referred privately for this to be done.

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