"Foot Operation - problems with procedure, communication and lack of aftercare"
Posted by Margg5 (as ),
This story is being posted by Healthwatch Oldham on behalf of someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Any response from this story will be communicated to the person involved.
In December I had an appointment with a consultant regarding problems with my left foot. From this consultation I was told an operation would be required and I was then referred by the consultant as an NHS Patient to Oaklands Hospital, Salford. I was informed that the procedure was straight forward and having been in a plaster cast for 8 to 12 weeks, that once the cast was removed I should be able to resume day to day activities.
I had the operation In January which involved a pin being placed in my foot. I was then in a cast for 3 months and the medical care I received during this period was very good.
However, since the cast was removed I have had had nothing but problems.
I have been in constant pain and unable to weight bear and have struggled to walk. After several more appointments and scans, the consultant informed me that the pin which had been placed in my foot was too long and needed to be removed. I underwent this procedure in June and was told that another pin was not required as the bone was already fused.
All my appointments involved me travelling to Oaklands from my home in Oldham which has been difficult due to the complications with my foot. In most cases it has meant my partner taking the day off work in order to take me to these appointments.
Post operation I have been offered no physio or after care advice.
On attending appointments with the consultant, he would ask me to make an appointment within the next couple of days either with himself or for a scan. However, when I tried to do this the reception staff advised me that this was not possible and my appointments were always made at least a couple of weeks to a month later.
Having earlier asked about physio in March when the cast was removed and being told I did not need it, I then asked again in August and was told that it would be worth having. However, I was also told that there was a 20+ week wait for physio and that I would be better off going privately as it would be quicker. Following this I contacted Healthwatch Oldham who made enquiries into physio waiting list times, and was advised that it was 4 to 6 weeks and that my GP could refer me. I was seen within a month.
Finally due to the pain I have been in, mobility issues and on-going medical appointments; this has seriously impacted on my work. Having taken the full 26 weeks on sick leave, I have had no alternative but to return to work but am still unable to work a full day.
I am really frustrated with the whole process. I feel that there have been a series of issues e. g. the procedure, communication, and lack of aftercare advice and whilst things are gradually improving I am still a long way off being able to resume my everyday activities.