"broken foot misdiagnosed and untreated"

About: East Surrey Hospital / General surgery East Surrey Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics Surrey PCT

(as the patient),

I am in my late teens and in the last year and a half have had 3 operations on my right ankle/foot to help with severe pain caused by tarsal coalition. I had this done privately.

I recently suffered a stress fracture to my right foot, and seeing as it is in a weak condition anyway, I was particularly worried this would cause other issues. Having been to A&E initially because of pain and swelling, I was sent away and told to walk on it and it would get better.

Two weeks later it was even worse so I went to the GP who said it was probably broken and I needed an x-ray. I managed to get an x-ray the same day fortunately. A week later I received a letter saying I should make a phone appointment with the GP to get the results of my x-ray, which I did, and the call was the next day. I was told I had fractured my foot, to keep off it and that I would have an appointment at the fracture clinic soon.

2 weeks later I had still heard nothing and rang the fracture clinic to find out why. They said I hadn't been referred, but the GP said I had been. Anyway, they sent me another appointment for a further 2 weeks later. By this point my foot had been broken for at least 2 months, possibly 4, so the consultant I saw didn't do anything. I wasn't going to be sent away without answers so they gave me another x-ray "to put my mind at rest".

I will just add that I found their English difficult to understand and this made the appointment even more frustrating. They also told me that wild animals don't get treated for broken bones so why should we? (which is the stupidest thing I have ever heard a doctor say. )

So in the end, my broken foot was mis-diagnosed, seemed of no importance to the system and in the end wasn't treated. Since then I have had new problems with my foot (which had just settled down after 4 years of unbearable pain and crutches etc) that my surgeon and podiatrist can't find the cause or solution for.

It infuriates me that so much time, effort and money has been spent on my foot in an attempt to fix it and the one time I use the NHS for it, they seem to screw it up and nearly make it all worthless.

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Response from Fionnula Robinson, Director of Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Hi Honeycheerios

I'm so sorry that your experienc of the NHS with your fractured foot wasn't great. It would be helpful to us if you could supply our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (pals@sash.nhs.uk or 01737 231958) with more information about your times of visits etc, so we can bring your treatment to the attention of the consultants for the services in question and they can make improvements.

Kind regards,


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