"A catalogue of errors after I was admitted with a fractured hip"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I shall try and be brief with my story but it starts in the first week in November when I was admitted with a fractured hip.

During my week on the ward I had 2 Hypos because I am diabetic and had no help from the nursing staff even though I informed them of my routine to monitor my diabetes. I was sent home after having an operation to repair my fracture but whilst I was on the ward I contracted an infection.

I was cared for by Community nurses while at home and they informed me that the wound had not been closed properly and that was the cause of the infection. After 12 days my staples were removed and the wound opened up to reveal the puss which is associated with infections.

My leg is now 1 inch shorter and rotated outwards and when I contacted the surgeons secretary to try and make a follow up appointment only to be told I had been discharged and I would have to be referred via my GP.

Because of these failings I contacted PALS who made an appointment to see a consultant, regarding my hip today. The consultant informed me that I should have been seen by the hospital at least twice before today and he subsequently apologized for the hospital failings.

I am totally disgusted by the treatment I have received from the hospital and intend to persue this matter further.

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Response from Philip Dylak, Director of Nursing, Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust

I was extremely disappointed to hear about your experience. Without knowing the specifics of your case, it is difficult to comment. However it is unacceptable that as a patient with diabetes you were not provided with support to manage your condition. The Trust has a very experienced team of Diabetes Specialist Nurses, and a referral to this team should have been made. I apologise if this was not undertaken. Extensive research suggests that patients with diabetes are more prone to infection and wound healing may take longer. May I reassure you that had there been evidence of any infection, a high temperature or a dirty wound at the time we were due to go home, your discharge would not have taken place.

When a patient fractures their hip there are two ways that it may be fixed. The surgeon would have chosen the most appropriate way depending on a number of factors. A fracture of this kind can take up to 6 months to heal properly, although inevitably there will be a degree of leg shortening. I do apologise if this was not fully explained to you.

The follow up arrangements including an Out Patient appointment are patient specific and dependent upon factors such as the cause of the fracture and the age of the patient. I apologise if you felt that you should have been seen earlier by a Consultant, and I hope that this has now occurred and that your concerns have been alleviated.

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