"Paediatric Fracture Clinic"

About: Dewsbury & District Hospital / Accident and emergency Pinderfields General Hospital / Paediatrics

(as a parent/guardian),

My 8 year old unfortunately had a buckle fracture which he was treated for at Dewsbury A&E (excellent service albeit spending a lengthy amount of time waiting). The Receptionist at Dewsbury A&E booked a follow-up appointment at Pinderfield's Paediatric Fracture Clinic for 2 weeks later.

A week before the appointment I received a letter to say that the appointment had been cancelled due to lack of staff to run the clinic. I was slightly frustrated with this as my son was wearing a cast which we were told he should only wear for 2 weeks. However, two days after I received a letter I received an automated telephone call from Pinderfields asking me to confirm my appointment with them the following week, which I did. As you can imagine I was completely confused as to what was going in.

The next morning I phoned Pinderfields to ask them to explain what was going on. The caller informed me that I must have cancelled the appointment (I clearly pointed out I had not) although someone had rebooked the appointment for the same day, same time(? ? ? ). On top of it all I had booked the day off to attend the appointment but when I received the letter I cancelled my day off. After being told the appointment was still on, I then had to go back to my Manager and ask for the day off again.

When we arrived at the Fracture Clinic we were informed, by a lovely nurse, that clinic was running slightly late due to only have one doctor on. This was a very full waiting room with some very small children who were getting bored very easy. Some were extremely anxious especially when they heard casts being removed by the loud piece of equipment. The delay to appointments was 1½ hours which was outrageous. I appreciate the NHS does have staff shortages but surely there must be a medical staffing department whereby extra resource can be pulled from? You expect long waits in A&E departments etc, but when you have a dedicated outpatient appointment time, you do expect the department to stick to it or even be 20 minutes late, not 1½ hours.

I also felt the service was not extremely streamlined. We waited 1½ hours to see the doctor who said he wanted the cast removing so he could examine my son's arm. So we left the Doctor's room, waited in Reception again for 20 minutes, had the cast removed, waited in Reception for another 10 minutes, called into see the Doctor (was in there less than 5 minutes), to be told my son had to have a removable cast fitted, back to Reception for another 15 minutes, then asked to go into the room where casts are fitted for 15 minutes and then discharged. It's very distressing for children. Surely there is some other way of streamlining this service?

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Response from Paul Jepson, Patient Liaison Manager, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Frustrated Mum

We appreciate and apologise for the frustration you describe and would be pleased to formally investigate if you would like to contact us directly.

In general terms, the fracture clinic is a busy acute clinic which also takes additional (ie without appointment) urgent patients from A&E and this can impact on clinic timings.

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