"Fractured arm or not?"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a staff member),

This story has been posted by Healthwatch Tameside on behalf of a member of the public who asked not to have their name published. They said…

(told by aunt)

21 year old girl injured her arm. Went to Tameside General Hospital for x-ray. First told it was fractured and a temporary plaster applied.

A week later told it wasn't fractured, and a full plaster was said to be unnecessary. Still in pain, not sure what to believe.

Afraid it may be fractured and may be making it worse by using it. Feels staff at TGH don't know what they are doing. Won't go there again.

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Response from Lindsay Stewart, Deputy Director of Nursing, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for letting us know of issues regarding a query over a fracture you had during a recent visit to Tameside Hospital.

Without details of the case, it is a little difficult to know exactly what went on. The following is only therefore a supposition rather than a full explanation.

1. It is not unusual for a fracture to be ‘missed’ until the x-ray is seen by senior radiologist, but it is quite unusual for a fracture that is not actually there to be seen and a plaster to be applied

2. It is essential to know who, and in what clinic/hospital the patient was told that there was no fracture before this can be investigated

3. If the pain continues and does not resolve, then we would urge the patient to return to AE or to see their GP as soon as possible. If there is a fracture, then any movement will cause pain and automatically stop the person using the arm so the risk of making things worse is low.

We would encourage if at any time a patient or relative/carer does not understand what is going on or is unclear about treatment, they should ask the doctor or nurse treating them for a full explanation (although that should be given as a matter of course). In the unlikely event that an adequate explanation is not given, then the person should request that they be seen by the senior nurse or doctor in the department at that time. We can guarantee that any such request will be complied with politely and immediately. It is your right to know everything that is happening to you.

I apologise that this is a general overview rather than specific to your niece. If you require a more detailed explanation please contact Sarah Williams Matron on 0161 922 5201.

Kind regards,

John Goodenough

Director of Nursing

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