"Post-surgery follow-up appointments -..."

About: Cumberland Infirmary

After a fall from height I sustained two broken heels. The care in the ward was brilliant and the subsequent operation and post operative care was fine. However... three weeks ago I had my staples out and was told that I needed a follow-up appointment in 4 weeks time (taking me to 5th November) at which an X-Ray would be done to assess whether the bones are adequately healing and to determine the next course of action (i.e. further work, physiotherapy etc.). Last week I received a letter from the Infirmary telling me that the appointment has been cancelled. I have tried repeatedly to chase up a replacement appointment but to no avail. The receptionist was unable to help other than to provide me with a number for the consultant's secretary however this number rang out without answer for a week until today when it was answered and I was transferred to two other people from which it eventually transpired that no additional clinics have been scheduled. After a very unsatisfactory discussion, I found that the consultant has a clinic scheduled on 6th November at West Cumberland Hospital. I have obtained an appointment at this clinic as this is my closest hospital (why was I not seen here for my staples out in the first instance?) so hopefully that appointment will be honoured. My concerns are: 1) The longer it takes to be seen, the more precarious my recovery becomes as it is not yet clear whether the bones are healing properly. 2) The receptionists seem to be unaware of the position re clinics. 3) The receptionists seem to be unaware of the impact of delays to clinics for people who are relying on further information (thinking in particular of advising work of the status/prognosis etc.) This is unacceptable.

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

Dear Sir I am sorry to hear of your accident and injuries and am pleased that your initial care was so satisfactory. I can imagine that this must have been quite a traumatic time for you. I was very disappointed to learn of your experience with subsequent follow up, and must firstly apologise that this has been so unsatisfactory. I would be grateful if you could contact our PALS service with your details in order that we can ensure that follow up is assured. We have taken note of your concerns re the administrative systems and will ensure that we learn from this. Thank you for drawing this to our attention and for taking the time yo get in touch. With best wishes for your on going recovery Alison Patient Experience

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