"Care after Motorcycle Crash"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Trauma and Orthopaedics Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance

(as the patient),

Whilst on a motorcycle ride with friends, heading from Edinburgh to Braemar, I unfortunately misjudged a corner and clipped a grass verge which resulted in my being thrown over the handlebars approx 5 miles from Glenshee.

Being a current registered Paramedic, I was on the ride with fellow Emergency service colleagues and as such, was extremely well cared for whilst waiting for my uniformed colleagues to arrive.

Thankfully I was quickly cleared of any spinal damage and was subsequently conveyed by Ambulance to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Although admittedly biased, I have nothing but praise for the Ambulance crew that treated me. On arrival at hospital, I was assessed in the Emergency department and diagnosed as having suffered a fractured scapula, clavicle and posterior rib.

I am somewhat dismayed to report that my treatment in Ninewells was less than satisfactory. The duty consultant that treated me repeatedly refused to believe the fact that I was riding at a speed of 40mph. It took my friend who is an A&E Nurse in Edinburgh to point out the fact that had I been travelling at the speeds he was implying, my injuries would have been far more substantial. The consultant also decided to allow my injuries to heal on their own in time, without consulting any specialist orthopaedic colleague.

After remaining in hospital overnight (only because I vomited following administration of morphine for pain relief and not due to my actual injuries), I was assessed again by the dayshift duty consultant the following morning. This Doctor was the only one out of the 4 that assessed me during my time in Ninewells that suspected my injuries may require further treatment and as such, he requested assessment from an orthopaedic specialist. This specialist also decided that no treatment would be required and even encouraged me to travel on a planned holiday abroad the following week!

Thankfully, my gut told me that something was afoot and I attended Edinburgh Royal Infirmary 2 days later. A fresh assessment was made, including a CT scan on my injured shoulder - something that was never done or suggested whilst at Ninewells. It was subsequently determined that due to the amount of displacement, my clavicle fracture would never heal naturally and would have left me permanently disabled.

I was booked in for Open Reduction Internal Fixation surgery the following Monday and my clavicle was repaired with a metal plate by Mr Robinson and his team. The surgery was a success and I have had frequent visits to physiotherapy since surgery and I have now healed enough to return to my duties as a Paramedic.

I have nothing but heartfelt thanks for Mr Robinson and his surgical team and my physiotherapist, Julie all based at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. However, I would like my disappointment expressed to the Emergency Department at Ninewells.

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Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside

Dear “Former Biker”

I am extremely sorry to hear that your experience of our service, when you attended the Emergency Department at Ninewells Hospital following your motorcycle accident, was not as you nor we would have wished. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, to help us improve our service. I am pleased to note that you have now had successful surgery in Edinburgh and have been able to return to your duties as a Paramedic.

In order to fully investigate the issues you have raised, I would like to obtain some specific information regarding your stay in Ninewells Hospital. I would therefore be extremely grateful if you could contact me via the Complaints and Feedback Team on 0800 027 5507 (freephone) or via email to feedback.tayside@nhs.net.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards.

Alison Moss

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Response from Martin Esposito, Clinical Effectiveness Lead, Clinical Directorate, Scottish Ambulance Service

picture of Martin Esposito

Dear Former Biker

Thank you for sharing your experience.

I was really sorry to hear about your motorcycle accident. As a Paramedic myself, I have found that it can actually be quite daunting caring for unwell or injured colleagues and I know from personal experience how difficult it can be being treated by colleagues and so I was really pleased to hear about the care you received from the ambulance staff on that day.

I was also sorry to hear about the experience you had at Ninewells Hospital and would encourage you to contact Alison so that your concerns can be taken forward.

I am not sure if you had the opportunity to thank the ambulance staff who cared for you on that day. If not, I would be delighted to pass on your thanks but would need a few more details to allow me to do this. You can contact me on 0131 314 0003 or at martinesposito@nhs.net

Finally, I am really glad that with support, you are recovering well and are back at work.

Take care.


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Response from Jeannette Morrison, Head of Patient Experience, NHS Lothian

Dear Former Biker

Thank you for your feedback but I was so sorry to hear about your motorbike accident - it sounds as though you have had a difficult time.

I have shared your feedback with the Mr Robinson and the rest of the clinical team at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and l am sure they, like me, will wish you well for your continued recovery and was pleased to hear that you are now back at work.

Thank you again for this positve feedback.

Kind regards


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