"Treatment for achilles damage"

About: Bradford Royal Infirmary / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a carer),

My wife (79) injured her foot in Dublin, May 2015 without realising what had really happened. She struggled through the constant pain until managing to see a GP on our return home five days later. After seeing three different GPs, all of whom failed to correctly diagnose her problem, I took her to A & E, several weeks after the accident. It was swiftly diagnosed as a severely ruptured Achilles tendon. This led to a very prompt appointment with the orthopaedic consultant who was seriously alarmed at the history, (as above). He arranged for very urgent physiotherapy treatment to be programmed, which went on for six weeks. Unsurprisingly, it was not possible to return the injury to its previous condition, though it helped my wife make substantial progress. The consultant has been brilliant in his care and attention to my wife's injury. It has now resulted in an agreement between him and my wife to go ahead with an operation to greatly improve her quality of life, as he recognises that she has had what he described as a 'raw deal' and he made great play of the fact that if an operation was agreed upon he insisted that he would want to do it and deal with my wife's care personally until she is as fully fit again as he can make it. He said that the alternative was a likely prospect of a wheelchair.

He was prepared to do the operation within five or six weeks but as we are due to go on holiday in the UK in June, and my wife has a birthday imminent, he promptly said he would do it immediately after the birthday in August.

My point is that no amount of expensive private consultations could have in the end produced a better outcome under the circumstances or any more quickly. This has been, so far, a brilliant example of the NHS at its best, and my wife and I are totally confident that she will have a highly successful operation to return her to a high degree of the active life she has always had thus far, even though she will be looking at six to twelve weeks with her leg in plaster and other supports, and further physiotherapy.

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Response from Bradford Royal Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to write this story, it is indeed an excellent example of NHS care and treatment. It highlights the importance of putting patients at the heart of everything we do and the impact a good experience can have on a patient and their family’s lives. Best wishes to your wife for the operation and physiotherapy.

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Update posted by Rupert Bear (a carer)

Thank you. Watch this space - I will bring you the final chapter in the Autumn!