"Hip replacement at QMC"

About: Northern General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as the patient),

As you will see from my answers to your questions overleaf, I was very pleased with most aspects of both the medical and personal attention I received at the Northern General Hospital. So the following comments are in the nature of suggestion rather than outright criticism.

Under the heading, “Information and decision making shared appropriately”, there is much that could be done to improve a situation that scarcely exists. For the record, here it was happened to me. Just before noon on Thursday 21st May 09, I slipped on a wet paving stone in my front garden, falling heavily and fracturing my hip. The operation to reset the bone was carried out the next day following a scan showing that there were no blood clots in my body. Because I am physically fit, I was released to go home one week later. At home, coping with only a pair of elbow crutches was much more difficult than in a hospital ward, in spit of the heroic efforts of my wife, who is far from well herself. While the operation wound on my left hip has been healing steadily, the ankles and calves both in both legs are badly swollen. My mobility is impaired because if this oedema.

On Tuesday 2nd June 09, I fell in my home and had to be rescued by my kind next door neighbours. On the following evening my GP and her young colleague examined me in my home. They thought that it was likely that a blood clot could now be present and that another scan would be advisable. Consequently, an ambulance was requested to return me to the Northern General Hospital where I arrived at midnight, On the Friday 5th June, a registrar arranged for a heart scan to be done but he did not seem to be concerned about a scan for a lurking blood clot elsewhere. Later that day I asked the ward sister if there was any news of the important scan. She apologised and said that I had not been listed. Unfortunately, she added, “nothing could be done now as everyone, including the doctors had gone home for the weekend.” The consultant saw me the Monday after and he too thought that a clot was present in the left limb but he could not proceed further until a scan proved positive or negative.

Then on the Wednesday, a physiotherapist came to tell me that she would be seeing me that afternoon to advise me about exercises and some loose shoes which be more comfortable for my swollen feet. Later that day she returned to tell me that my appointment had been postponed and another date would be arranged. During the morning of Sunday 14th, I was unexpectedly summoned to the x-ray department where a new weekend shift had started. I was fortunate to be chosen. The scan proved to be negative. The consultant saw me the next day and cleared me fit to go home and I returned home by ambulance on the Tuesday.

I hope that you ca see that there appears to have been little exchange of information between concerned departments, x-ray and scanning, physiotherapy and the consultant’s requirement for a single item of vital information. Similarly, there was scarcely any information tot eh ward staff, which they could pass onto me personally.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››