"The lack of responsibility by any one individual in patient care"

About: Torbay Hospital / Colorectal surgery Torbay Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a relative),

Severe hip pain and back pain with other orthopaedic problems, in a relative who was being investigated for other unrelated medical symptoms.

Sent for an orthopaedic consultation. She was triaged by a physiotherapist whose spine exam appeared non-existent and hip examination would have failed a medical student his exams. They did take a hip radiograph and recognise that there was arthritis.

At the initial visit with an orthopaedic surgeon, they entered the room with a consent form in hand. No consideration seemed to have been given to the other medical condition nor to the spine problems. The surgical approach proposed results in an unacceptable incidence of abductor weakness.

The anaesthetist did examine her, but proposed a spinal anaesthesia without apparently recognizing just how difficult it would become to get a needle in. She did not succeed in over an hour.

In short, no one seemed to examine this woman as a whole and understand all the inter-related pathologies and their implications.

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Response from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

We are really sorry to hear about your relative's recent experience in our hospital and that the standard of her care fell below that which we strive to provide. We would like the opportunity to discuss this experience with either you or the patient so that we can try our best to resolve it.

If you are happy to talk to us about this, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) so they can look into your situation in more detail.

A PALS Officer is available in person, Monday to Friday, between 10.00am and 2.00pm. You can contact them by calling 01803 655838 or on our 24 hour freephone number 0800 02 82 037. If you get through to the voicemail service please leave your contact details and you will receive a call back within two working days. PALS can also be contacted by Text Phone on 01803 654742, by FAX on 01803 617162, or via email to sdhc@nhs.net (your email will go direct to our PALS Service).

Please note that due to patient confidentiality, in order to enable us to respond to you in regard to your relative's care, we will need to obtain her consent.

We look forward to hearing from you so that we can address the issues you have raised.