"Missed diagnoses for injured knee"

About: Nevill Hall Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I had experienced a hugely swollen knee / excruciating pain when I walked on it. X-Rays taken a couple of weeks previously had shown no bone defects. On two occasions over a period of three days my left knee collapsed; the first occasion leaving me on the floor of Waitrose in Abergavenny - the second time sprawled across the road outside my house.

Following my fall into the street my wife drove me immediately to Neville Hall A&E but was unable to park anywhere so she dropped me off and drove home

I was accessed in less than an hour and saw a Dr about an hour later.

I repeatedly told him ( and his senior) that I only experienced the pain when I walked - pulling my knee about while I sat DID NOT reproduce the effect or pain. I told them I had fallen twice in three days ( I'm 62). They listened but did not seem to hear what I was saying - They reviewed the previously taken xrays - gave me some co-codimol ( good for 3-4 days and then possible addictive? ! ! ) pain killers and sent me home - I was massively upset as I struggled to hobble out of A&E - the experience was embarrassing/shameful, extremely upsetting and to my mind - almost unprofessional .....however I have no doubt that I met all of the health service KPI criteria for treating patients................

I still could not walk - my only option was to contact a consultant and see him privately - not a good option as I am early retired with NO income for the next three years and trying to live off minimal savings...

Within 5 minutes of examining me, the Orthopeadic specialist told me I had one maybe two issues going on but urgently needed and MRI to confirm his assessment.

However, NHS would take a number of weeks (5-6? ) so I was put in a position ( again) of paying to have the scan within a couple of days! .

The results confirmed I had torn a ligament and had ruptured the meniscus -very much in accordance with my Consultants original preliminary diagnosis. A diagnosis completely and utterly missed by TWO A&E Dr's at Neville Hall.

I am having to pay to have the surgery done - to repair my knee so I can walk again - rather than wait the 8-9 months I have been quoted under the NHS.

This exercise has cost me over £3400 - which I cannot afford.

My current experience with the NHS, it resources and procedures has been a complete and utter failure.

Fifteen years ago I could not praise the NHS enough for the efforts and resources that were applied when my father suffered a massive heart attack.

I find it so very sad that now - when I really needed the system to work for my own benefit - the whole experience has shown the system to be so very lacking and leaving me so much out of pocket despite my having made the requisite contributions all of my working life..

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