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Seriously broken ankle 8 days on and still awaiting surgery


cupcake68
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My husband fell 10ft from a scaffold board last saturday and seriously broke his ankle and seriously sprained the other ankle.

 

He was taken to hospital immediately and we have been waiting every day since for them to operate.

 

Each day he goes nil by mouth and each day he has been let down. The excuses are always different. Day 1 - No Surgeon, Day 2 - No excuse given, Day 3 - too swollen, etc etc

 

There is no continuity with what he is being told by so many different surgeons. One minute they talk about moving him to another hospital the next they're not, then they are again. He was promised on Thusrday if he wasn't moved and done over the weekend it would definitely be Monday. On Saturday they said they needed to do a different op to insert an external brace while they are waiting for the big op. So again at midnight he was nil by mouth, not even allowed a sip of water until 8.30 tonight when they told him they would not be doing that today either.

 

There is no way he will get this major op done tomorrow now. Obviously all the time he waits the bones are in the wrong place and starting to heal. I am really worried that what is already looking like a long job is going to be made worse by their negligence.

 

He hasn't been given any explanation tonight, getting himself really down.

 

I'm ready to park myself on the ward tomorrow at 8.30 and refuse to move until we get a proper explanation but what I would really like to know is what are his rights?

 

Does he have a right to get fair treatment etc etc.

 

Any advice would be really appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Cupcake

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Sorry to hear of your/your husband's situation. I've been on the receiving end of cancelled surgery myself (although not as long as 8 days!) and the seemingly endless cycle of nil by mouth and then not. Has it happened yet? In systems I have worked (I'm a nurse) there is a receiving consultant who is reponsible for the care of the patients admitted from 9am that morning until 9am the following morning. If he is still waiting and getting no answers from the ward staff or the consultant on the ward round, find out who that is (your husbands consultant) and phone the hospital switchboard (should have a website) and ask to speak to his secretary.

 

On a side note, he should NOT be fasting from midnight?! The guidelines state that plain water can be given up to 2 hours before most surgery. As they are unsure of the time of surgery, he should at the very least be able to drink until approx 6/7am depending on when the morning list starts. And the ward nurses should phone the theatre to enquire the likely time of surgery so they can decide whether to give him water on not. Sorry but fasting patients inapprorpriately is one of my every growing list of pet hates!

Disclaimer: Any advice given is solely my own. I advise you seek professional advice in the first instance.

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Hi Guys

 

Thanks for the advice. This is such a nightmare!

 

I did take RMW advice last week and ended up getting help from PALS. We were delighted when he finally went down for surgery on Monday afternoon.

 

He did not get the expected visit from the surgeon after the op but was told before the op "this is the definitive op that you have been waiting for and in a couple of days you will have some wires fitted down your leg that will hold your broken bones in place"

 

The first thing he knew after the op was Tuesday when surgeons sidekick came in to tell him once physios were happy he could go home. When he asked about wires sidekick said he didn't know anything about wires.

 

I then lost it (again) and insisted on staying at hospital until surgeon came to explain what was going on. Turns out this was not the definitive op at all, this was a temporary measure to replace the traction he had to something to enable him to be a little more mobile while waiting for a bed at another hospital to have the main op. As yet they had not even broken his skin!!!! They did admit sidekick had got it wrong but were not apologetic in any way, more like the mafia who didn't like being questioned or criticised.

 

By Wednesday we were being told the specialist ankle surgeon at the other hospital was trying to fit him in for Friday but it wasn't looking likely as he had another patient blah blah blah and if he couldn't do Friday it wouldn't be for another ten days because this surgeon was then on holiday!

 

They told him various different stories, he had to pack and unpack twice because he was supposed to be moving then not but finally they moved him Friday. He was seen by nursing staff only at the hospital and kept in a side room far away from orthopaedics while they ensured he didn't have any bugs but all the time the nurses told him his notes said he was down for surgery on Monday with a different surgeon.

 

Yesterday he was moved to orthopaedic ward and the staff nurse was amazed to find out he had not seen a doctor since arriving at the hospital. She said the doctor was here and she would let him know and get him to come and see him.

 

Half an hour later she returned to say doctor won't be in to see you tonight but they are having a meeting first thing monday and he was down to be discussed. When my husband said but I am definitely having op tomorrow? she said she couldn't answer that until todays meeting.

 

So we are still waiting, not sure if it will go ahead today 16 days after his fall!

 

The other bad news is this hospitals PALS service is not staffed this week!!!!

 

What a complete nightmare!

 

Cupcake

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That is absolutely ridiculous on so many fronts and the main issue seems to be (and is always!): communication. The NHS seriously lacks any communication outwith departments never mind other hospitals.

 

Any patient transferred from another hospital should be 'clerked in' by the receiving wards doctor or sometimes nurse practitioner. This is the nurses responsibility to ensure happens. Orthopaedic surgery is inherently brutal to the body so the other hospital would want to ensure there was no infection such as MRSA that could potentially cause even more problems down the line.

 

Re: the 'sidekick' (possibly a registrar or junior?) and his mistake. When I had complaints training we had the 3 Rs; regret, response and remedy. It was drilled into us to first apologise. A simple "we're really sorry" really does go a long way. I have to say that medical staff and especially surgeons (I'm stereotyping) are notorious for not saying sorry when things do go wrong.

 

It aggravates me and I am a NHS monkey! It must be absolutely infuriating to you and I wouldn't blame you for getting a complaint letter in once his op is done and he is home.

Disclaimer: Any advice given is solely my own. I advise you seek professional advice in the first instance.

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My Mum once got things seriously sorted when I was being messed about by phoning and insisting on speaking to the Hospital manager - if they still have such things.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Thanks again guys!

He has finally had the op this afternoon He has not had any of the cage they told him about fitted he is a regular cast so everything we have been told at the original hospital was not correct!

 

But at least he can now concentrate on getting better.

 

Cupcake

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Wishing your Husband a very full and speedy recovery cupcake x

Keep up the fight against Bank Charges.

 

 

Got Debt problems?

Don't panic, put the kettle on and read this

 

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Sadly delays are inevitable for surgical procedures due to prioritising cases but lack of communication and starving patients unneccessarily is not acceptable.

 

Good luck cupcake x

Keep up the fight against Bank Charges.

 

 

Got Debt problems?

Don't panic, put the kettle on and read this

 

:-) Everything I write comes from my heart and head! The large filling cabinet that is my knowledge of life, however warped that may be!! :-)

 

<<< Please tickle my star!! if I have managed to help you or just made you chuckle!

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