"Helping Hand."

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

I went to A&E for a hand injury. I only went because work had advised me to go. They gave me a wrist support which also covered the area I had hurt on my hand. I wasn't bothered by the fact I had to have two x-rays due to the first one being done wrong. The problem that I had was the staff members. I was given a letter telling me to visit the fracture clinic three weeks later. I was shocked that it would take so long to see me if they thought my hand was fractured. I later found out that appointment I had been given was wrong and was actually two days later. (Unfortunately I found out Sunday evening as a voicemail left on my house phone.) I was able to make the appointment though. At the fracture clinic I was seen straight away. I could easily have been in and out. But the member of staff at reception was not trained to put through follow up appointments so I had to wait for a higher member of staff to arrive. This took 40 minutes. I finally received my follow up date; two weeks later. I'm just going to add that the doctor I had seen had told me to keep wearing my wrist support. The follow up appointment finally arrived (which was actually today) and this is when I was treated disgustingly. I arrived five minutes early for my appointment, signed in and headed down to get an X-ray which I was instructed to do. The person doing the x-rays was x-raying my wrist instead of my hand. I didn't question it as I thought maybe I was being silly and that they were doing x-rays on my hand at the same time. No, this was not the case. I was given a slip of paper to return back at the fracture clinic to tell them I was back. Almost an hour had passed. It wasn't busy but there were a few people waiting too so that couldn't be helped. They called my name and the doctor that I saw told me I had wasted their time. "Come in and take a seat" the doctor told me. The doctor took one look at my wrist and asked why I was still wearing the support. I was confused as they were the one who had told me wear it. I didn't want to remove it until after I had spoken with the doctor just in case it affected the healing process; which is what I told them. The doctor told me to take it off and to stop wearing it as if wouldn't help my wrist and would make it weaker. The doctor then told me that there did not appear to be a fracture on my wrist. I pointed out that it was my hand that hurt – not my wrist. As the doctor was about to send me down to get another x-ray done I said that I felt my hand wasn’t as bad as it first was and that I didn’t believe it was fractured. At which point the doctor interrupted me and said “well bye then.” You can imagine I was shocked at how abrupt they were. I then went to speak again...“Bye. It’s not fractured. You don’t need to be here and you don’t need another appointment. This is a waste of my time.” I was so embarrassed to have been spoken to like this that I got up and left. I wasn’t told what I’d actually done to my hand or how I could stop the pain. Looking back on it now, the whole experience was a shamble.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing feedback, I am sorythatyou were unhappy with the service, we do endeavour to learn when things do not run as smoothly as we would like. Please do email me on Julie.pearce1@nhs.net and I will try to find out more about what happened.

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