"Degrading, humiliating and completely lacking in..."

About: Chard Hospital

What I liked

Absolutely nothing. NB: My appointments were in January and June 2010 but the listing had passed these months.

What could be improved

Attitude of Physiotherapist. I felt regarded with ridicule and disbelief. Exercises given were not appropriate (I later discovered), when I tried to make second appt within 48 hours of first and within my open 4-week appt I was told Physio had taken annual leave!? Some months later I had another appt with same Physio (though I would much rather have seen someone else) and felt confronted with same attitude. I had tendon strain injuries, ligament injuries and muscle injuries, my legs, ankles and feet were swollen and inflamed, I was in so much pain and unable to wear proper shoes. I was asked why I was 'walking like that' (ie, limping/shuffling) and the appt ended with my being told not to hobble. I was left to struggle in agony. I sent written queries but my letters were ignored. Eventually I had a 'phonecall which I felt I had no option but to accept - this entailed my trying to listen/talk whilst in pain struggling to walk, and trying to supervise the safety of my young children along a narrow pavement/busy road. I have had to struggle in agony since straining my legs/tendons in 2009. I was left with no choice but to cope, the strains/sprains/muscle tears spread - I have never been forced to endure such cruelty before in my life and during this ordeal which has continued, although I thankfully did not come into contact with that Physio again, the NHS here have not helped me - I have had fictional symptoms/request written about me ( I found out), extremely insulting remarks written in my Notes (I found out) - my family has been caused such misery and irrecoverable losses and I believe we have been regarded with much contempt. I now have damages that were preventable, unnecessary inabilities; we have lost three years' quality of life and I have to cope with overwhelming depression. We have lost everything including hope .

Anything else?

I will never trust the NHS again.

Story from NHS Choices


Response from Chard Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of physiotherapy at Chard Hospital. I am really sorry that you seem to have had such a very difficult experience, and it might be worth pointing out that the service was part of the local PCT Trust, but since August of last year, all community hospitals, including Chard Hospital, and all Physiotherapy services now come under Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, however, even though your appointments were some two years ago, if you would like to discuss the issues further, please contact the PALS service at Mallard Court, Bridgwater, on 01278 432022 or write to me, Karen Howard-Grenville, Patient Advice and Liaison Specialist, at 2nd Floor, Mallard Court, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater. TA6 4RN.

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Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk


Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry that you have had such a difficult time and have not received the support that you needed.

I would encourage you to speak to the PALS team above, as Karen has suggested.

You can refer yourself to local community physiotherapists and I hope that you feel able to do so at some point.

Local Involvement Networks (LINks) are networks of patients and patient groups who have an interest in health and social care. Patient groups such as LINks do read these stories and use this information to hold services to account. All feedback is really helpful for us so that we can see how local health services are working. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope that you get the support that you need.

Best wishes,


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