"Northumbria Trust - absolutely shocking, shoddy..."

About: Wansbeck Hospital

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I dislocated my knee in October 2012. This has happened before as I'm hypermobile but I went to A&E at Rake Lane. The doctor who saw me said to rest and discharged me. I limped as far as the car park when I heard someoe running after me, it was the doctor who said she shouldn't have discharged me as I shouldn't be walking on the knee - what would have happened if she hadn't caught up to me?! I was xrayed, examined and my leg was put in a support splint that was far too big. I was told to just pull the Velcro straps really tight. I was then given crutches but not shown how to use them and sent home with an appointment for Fracture Clinic that Sunday. At Fracture clinic I was told I'd be referred for Physio to try build up the stability of the joint. They forgot to do the referral (forgot?!) and it was only after chasing it up with my GP that I finally got the referral, six months later. The Physio referred me to a podiatrist as she felt my foot positioning was putting pressure on my knee. I had my first appointment on August 15th at Wansbeck. The waiting room was dirty, empty wrappers all over the table and a half empty cup of machine coffee that my son kept trying to investigate. The reception staff were surly and it was like being booked in by a robot. The podiatrist said I need to wear trainers and recommended several features to look for to best support my feet. I explained that I work five days a week with a strict dress code stating no trainers and he said "I'll write you a letter so you can wear them for work". No letter arrived. My follow up appointment arrived last month and I haven't been wearing the trainers as I can't wear them at work without a medical letter. I rang up to reschedule the appointment and asked about the letter. The lady I spoke to told me she'd chase it up. She rang back and left a message on my answering machine saying the letter would be sorted out. I'm still waiting for it and this is delaying any improvement in the problems with my feet because I'm not able to carry out the advice given to me (wear trainers and only trainers, every day). It is absolutely ridiculous that this has not yet been sorted out and that I'm no further forward, if they'd sent the letter when they said they would (back in August) I could be seeing real improvements by now and I'd be ready to move to the next stage of treatment (orthotics). As it is my treatment has been massively delayed due to the incompetence of the staff at Wansbeck. I wouldn't send even my worst enemy to this hospital.

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Response from Wansbeck Hospital

Dear Sir / Madam, I was really sorry to read about your experience of care at North Tyneside and Wansbeck Hospitals and disappointed to hear that you didn’t get the help you needed in a consistent and timely way. We expect to maintain excellent standards of cleanliness across all our hospitals and we always want our patients to be welcomed by warm, friendly and reliable staff . The care you describe is very different from this and I’m sorry that this has left feeling frustrated that you haven’t been able to make the most of your recovery as a result. It is very important that we are able to learn from the experiences of all our patients. Unfortunately the anonymous nature of this post prevents me from being able to do this in the most appropriate way. I’d be very grateful if you would get in touch with me so that I can learn more and ensure you receive the written advice you need about footwear : annie.laverty@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk Best Wishes Annie

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