"Visit to A&E"

About: Stepping Hill Hospital

I attended A&E at the end of July after a fall in my garden and being in pain with my knee. I was seen by an Emergency Nurse Practitioner who was very abrupt (almost to the point of rudeness) - the 1st thing they said to me was "Who gave you those crutches? You don't need them". I actually use 1 crutch anyway due to other problems - but they weren't interested. The nurse twisted my knee about a bit and said "It's a torn miniscus, I'll send you for an x-ray but not expecting there to be anything on it. I had the x-ray and they said that it was normal as they expected it to be, take painkillers and stop using the crutches. On 8th August I received a letter from the Emergency Consultants asking me to ring them as they had been trying to get hold of me about my x-ray results. I rang up and spoke to 1 of the Consultants who told me that there was a lot of inflammation in my knee and they suspected ligament damage. I have to see my Gp and ask for a referral to a knee specialist. If I had been referred from A&E - (which, as it turns out, I should have been) I would have been seen straight away - now I will have to wait up to 13 weeks. Either the Emergency Nurse Practitioner cannot read x-rays properly, in which case they shouldn't be doing the job they are doing, or they just could not be bothered to look at them properly as they assumed (before the x-rays had been done) that it would be normal so they weren't bothered. I am now worried about what else the inflammation in my knee is hiding - been saying all along something was really not right as I have big dent in the side of my knee and the pain is not settling down.

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Response from Stepping Hill Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry to hear of your experience in our Accident and Emergency Department which I have passed to the Matron and the Business group to review.

Unfortunately, the consultants and nursing staff in the Emergency Department are not radiologists (who are the specialists in interpreting x-rays) and can look at x-rays and provide an initial opinion.

X-rays are then sent to Radiology for reporting and, as in your case, if the report indicates an issue which requires further treatment, this is highlighted to the Emergency Deparment who contact the patient and advise of how to proceed.

This is the procedure that was followed in your case however, if you would like us to investigate further, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0161 419 4353 and we will carry out a formal investigation.

Kind regards

Patient and Customer Services Manager

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