"Poor treatment of dog bite led to infection"

About: Altrincham General Hospital

My husband was bitten badly by a dog on Monday 1st December. We visited the drop-in centre about 2 hours later. The nurse advised my husband that antibiotics and a tetanus jab were unnecessary and that dog bites were not as serious as cat bites or human bites. They cleaned out the wound, dressed it and sent him home.

24 hours later, the infection had spread up my husband's arm and the puncture wounds were oozing pus. We returned to the drop-in centre on Tuesday 2nd December, where the nurses advised that he required an IV drip and/or antibiotic injection, which they were unable to administer. We were advised that they had to send us to Trafford Hospital, rather than Wythenshawe Hospital which is closer to us. This is because the nurses said that the "money" from my husband should remain within Trafford CCG, rather than giving it to South Manchester CCG, which is where Wythenshawe hospital is. They also said that the wait time would be shorter at Trafford Hospital , rather than at Wythenshawe. They said that we had been referred to the Registar within the same CCG, so our wait time at Trafford would be extremely short. We drove to Trafford Hospital, where there was no evidence we had been referred and where our wait time was 1.5 hours. When we finally saw a doctor, they said that my husband should have been given antibiotics and a tetanus jab, and proceeded to give him this treatment.

Please could you explain: - Why my husband was not given the treatment which your own doctor had recommended in the first place? - Why we were told that we would be seen more quickly because we had been "referred" from the same CCG? - Why we were not sent to the A&E unit closest to our home?

We are very disappointed with my husband's treatment. Had he been treated properly in the first place, we would not have needed to return to Altrincham, or visit Trafford. His infection would also have been prevented, which is the most important aspect of our complaint.

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Response from Patient Experience Lead, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Initially, please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your comments. We are very sorry to learn of your unsatisfactory experience of our services during your attendances with your husband on 1st and 2nd December 2015 at Altrincham Hospital.

It is important to us that comments such as yours are heard and seen as an opportunity provided to the service to make changes and improvements wherever possible.

With an injury such as your husbands, the Emergency Nurse Practitioner takes a history and examines the wound. We wold expect the Emergency Nurse Practitioner to discuss the need for antibiotics with the Microbiologist and in your husband’s case this may have happened and the outcome of this discussion should have been explained to your husband. If this did not happen please accept our apologies.

It is difficult to respond to the specific concerns you have raised without being able to investigate in detail. However, the behaviour of the nurse as you describe is not the behaviour we expect from our Emergency Nurse Practitioners, as we strive to ensure a positive experience for our patients.

Please be assured that we take all issues surrounding patient care very seriously and we would very much like to hear from you directly about your experience and be able to fully answer your specific questions. If you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk they will be able to discuss this with you.