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NHS Complete and utter screw up


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I cant recall if I posted about this a while back (I think if I did it was more to do with claiming some ESA benefit instead of the mistakes by them).

 

I really think they have messed up my arm bigtime.

 

So it was just over a year ago. I had a laceration in my left arm which cut through my tendon. My local hospital diagnosed it as a cut "Flexor" tendon and "Radial" nerve.

 

I was booked into a specialist hospital in another town to have an operation and the screw up's began.

 

Upon arrival they ignored the notes from my hospital and claimed it was just a nerve injury... So less serious.

 

They delayed the operation twice and around a month after my injury they finally operated.

 

The surgeon came and saw me after. The operation should of taken an hour, but when he cut my arm open he realised my hospital were correct with the diagnosis that this hospital ignored (cut tendon and nerve) and it took 2 hours.

 

He explained tendon injury's are more serious and because I left it for so long before having the operation, everything had stuck back together in the wrong place and I may never get the full feeling back in my left arm. I corrected him and said that the hospital were the ones who delayed the operation, not me. He looked through my early notes and the look on his face said it all.

 

When leaving the hospital they gave me someone else's notes to hand to my GP. The notes were some woman's who had breast treatment.

 

I knew I would make up a complaint.

 

I went for physio a few weeks later and was left waiting for 6 hours while other's pushed in. At about 5pm they closed the reception and 3 of us were left waiting and not seen. We questioned it and there had been a mixup with paperwork and so they didnt even realise we had signed in at reception.

 

When I was seen they rushed me through and the guy took my bandage off and told me to go and wash my arm. Then said I will have to massage the scar tissue each day until the scar tissue is gone. He said it could take up to a year to fully heal and for the scar tissue to fade.

 

 

I made my complaint to their PALS. I sent scanned images of the other persons dr's notes and they told me they will investigate and let me know in 6 weeks time....

 

There was delay after delay. 6 weeks came and went, then they said it will take another month, then another month.

 

In that time I saw my GP and showed them the wrong dr's notes so they knew I wasnt lying about the hospital's mixup. They told me they will have to throw them in the bin because it's confidential information about another patient that I shouldnt of been given.

 

 

Anyway.... At the end of January this year, more than 4 months after I put in my original complaint, they finally replied and I was sickened by what they had to say.

 

 

It was excuse after excuse. They claim they made the correct diagnosis. They said they spoke to the surgeon and to put it simply he was a lying little B@stard (appologies for the language but that's the only way I can describe him). He claimed the operation took 2 hours because he was taking his time and making sure the operation went well. He said he was aware that it was a tendon injury and claimed that I made it worse for myself by delaying the operation (I never did as I mentioned above).

 

Furthermore they sent an envelope to send back the wrong doctors notes that belonged to a different patient. I had already told them that my GP had thrown them away and that I sent scanned images in the email to them.... but they ignored that and basically said in the letter that they don't believe me and wont believe me unless I send the notes back to them.

 

I just threw the letter to 1 side, I had given in the battle with them. After 4 months of phonecalls, email's, letters, they had twisted or ignored the facts and made up a load of rubbish to get their staff off the hook. Just didnt have the fight in me to carry on with their rubbish.

 

 

So, forward things to now. Its basically a year since the operation, I had been massaging my arm every day and the scar tissue should be gone by now.... but nope.

 

It's actually got worse in the past week. If I tap my arm I feel a shooting pain running down my arm and I cant even massage away the rest of the scar tissue because pressing on that part of my arm puts me in complete agony.

 

What the hell can I even do now?? If I go to my dr's they will send me back to that rubbish hospital because thats the place that specialises in tendon and nerve damage in people's arm. Never going back there after this ordeal :/

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If you're still unhappy, you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is independent of the NHS and government. Call 0345 015 4033

 

as for being refereed back you can always ask to be refereed to a different hospital and see someone else to try and fix it

Edited by time4change2
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There are at least 2 separate issues here:

1) Follow-up if you need further intervention for your arm to limit ongoing harm

2) Restitution for any damages, pain and suffering you have faced to date, and for the future (including, if applicable, loss of earnings)

 

For 1) go back to your GP. Ask to be referred but (for the reasons you have given) to an alternative specialist centre.

 

2) get advice from a personal injury specialist lawyer. Included within that, seek to clarify what you can prove vs. what you suspect but may find it hard to prove, and also what was an annoyance or concern (such as being sent other person's notes) against what has caused you harm, loss or damage.

 

Any settlement for 2) should also take into account anything outstanding for 1), but in the absence of a quick settlement you may still need to seek NHS rather than private care for 1) to get it sooner rather than later.

Edited by BazzaS
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Further thought : you feel they went to do the nerve repair rather than the nerve & tendon repair.

 

If they only "discovered" the tendon injury once they opened up your arm, but later claimed they intended a repair to both from the outset : what does your consent form show?.

If it shows the tendon repair you'd find it hard to claim they only found the tendon injury later, while if it doesn't mention the tendon injury if they claim "we knew about that all along", you or your solicitor can ask "why was it not on my consent form, then?"

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Thanks all, will have a look into the suggestions.

 

Ummmm, forgot to say that was another mistake. I didnt sign a consent form.

 

Well my original consent form was signed upon 1st arrival, when they ignored my local hospital's notes. The consent for was for a local anaesthetic nerve repair. However after it was delayed and I was finally called in for op, they changed it to general anaesthetic and the woman said "youve already signed a consent form so we can operate now".... I only signed a form for local anaesthetic nerve repair. Havent seen my consent form at all if im honest, I didnt have a copy or anything. Then after the operation which took longer than they said, the surgeon said he found a tendon injury also (Even though my original notes from my hospital stated that)

 

It was clear they got it wrong because according to the NHS website and other health websites, Tendon injury's are serious, they need to be treated asap. My notes from my local hospital that I handed in said "tendon and nerve injury" (I know because I read them), however this hospitasl didnt read notes and simply looked at my arm and said its only nerve damage, thus the delay's as nserve damage is not as serious and doesnt need to be operated on asap.

 

Nystagmite - I dont think its possible. Thing is, I dont drive and I dont know anyone who does, so I rely on trains, cant travel too far because some stations are hours away from the hospital

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Merker. In addition to the good advice you have already received, I would like to suggest you immediately require, under the Data Protection Act 1998, copies of your medical records from both GP (recent) and hospital (all), AND of the complaints file the hospital will have maintained to date. There is a 'sticky' about this at the top of this forum.

 

It can take weeks, so you cannot start too soon.

 

Best wishes.

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