ONE Life medics sent a pensioner to hospital to have a “double broken” wrist put in plaster – only for another doctor to reveal it was just a bruise.
Health chiefs today apologised for the error saying it was a “common” issue and added they couldn’t be expected to get “everything right first time”.
Brian Tumilty, 75, had fallen on his arm at his home in Middleton Road, Hartlepool, causing painful swelling.
So the retired labourer went to Hartlepool’s One Life Centre, in Park Road, at around 7.15am, to have the injury checked out. He says he was told that no doctors were available at that time so he had to wait for almost an hour in pain and discomfort before seeing a medic who finally had his arm x-rayed.
Brian was told that the x-rays showed he had broken two bones in his wrist and was made an appointment at the orthopaedics department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road, to have it put in plaster later that afternoon.
So after travelling to the hospital and waiting for another hour, Brian was shocked and angry when a specialist informed him that he did not have any broken bones in his wrist but it was in fact just badly bruised.
He told the Mail: “It’s ridiculous.
“The specialist I saw at Hartlepool’s hospital looked at the x-rays that had been sent through by the One Life and he told me I didn’t actually have any broken bones.
“The specialist just shook his head and asked me who had sent me to the hospital. When I told him, he wasn’t surprised.”
Brian, whose arm is in a support until the bruising and swelling goes down, added: “It just seems to me that the One Life don’t know what they’re doing.
“Surely they must be able to tell from looking at an x-ray of bones whether they’re broken or not. They can’t know anything about x-rays. You put your life in their hands and trust what they say.
“When the accident and emergency department was at Hartlepool’s hospital you just walked straight in and were dealt with all in the one place.
“I had to wait an hour on the morning to see a doctor at the One Life because there was no-one available until after 8am, and then I had to go all the way over to the hospital on the afternoon and wait another hour to be seen by the specialist.
“Then I was told I didn’t need a pot on after all.
“They’re just giving people the run around and the care isn’t the same compared to what it was like when everything was all in one place. It’s ludicrous.”
Clinical director for accident and emergency at the One Life, Andy Simpson, said: “We are sorry Mr Tumilty feels let down by his care. There are some fractures that are easier to see, but it is common that others are more difficult to diagnose.
“We specifically have services in place, such as review of x-rays by radiology and fracture clinic follow ups, to cover these risks. This is a world-wide issue and we will not get everything right first time.
“We hope that Mr Tumilty recovers from this injury very soon.”