"Dismissed about my injury"

About: Derby Hospital / Emergency Department Derby Hospital / General Practice Service

(as the patient),

Earlier this year I sustained an injury at work, I rolled it inward so bad I heard and felt the crack of my ankle so I went to the Emergency Department at the hospital and was given crutches and sent home.

The next day I went to get X-rays of my foot to where it appears they found no breaks in my ankle to which the doctor stood up, walked over to me and took my crutches off me. The doctor sent me home with a 3-day medical certificate, even after I told the doctor numerous times I could not put weight on my foot the response I got was that I can walk and there is nothing wrong.

After 3 days of pain, I returned back to the GP clinic at the hospital to explain the pain I was in, only to be told that 3 days off is very generous for a rolled ankle and was given another couple days off. I then saw another Doctor and explained the injury and the pain I was in only to be told by the Doctor that I can go back to work on light duties, they don't want me sitting at home.

This fight for my pain management went on for 4 months, back and forth, on and off from work with no answers or care given for pain management, except told to just take Panadol and Nurofen (none of these worked for my pain). I couldn't sleep properly, I couldn't look after my kids or myself for the most part and when I was sent back to work, even if it was only for a few hours, I wasn't able to walk for the rest of the night.

I was also given a referral to a Physio but after a few session, they dismissed my injury and came to the conclusion that it was a psychological injury, to which this information was passed onto the doctor.

After 4 months of being ignored by the doctors, I booked in to see another Doctor that only works at the clinic one day a week. After a few sessions, a plan was put in place to finally get an MRI done with an Orthopedic surgeon. 

I was booked in to see my new doctor but they were away on holidays at the time so I saw another Doctor. They glanced over my file for a minute and said I've seen 4 doctors, I can return back to work on full duties. I explained to this Doctor that I was still in pain, I couldn't sleep properly or even that I have issues walking around my house, it seemed they ignored my response and said I can go back on full duties.

A few days later, my first full duty shift back I sustained another injury to my ankle but this time it hurt even more than the original. I rebooked into the clinic with my new Doctor and they followed through with the plan of getting an MRI. Once the MRI was done the surgeon found a piece of floating bone in my ankle from the original injury and that I needed to have surgery to remove the piece of floating bone and to clean up the joint of the scar tissue that had accumulated over the past 5 months of no treatment.

This was such a relief for my family and I, for so long I was treated like I made it up. Recently, I finally had my surgery and am on the mend. 8 months since my injury happened and the lack of care given in the first instance is very disappointing and was extremely stressful. In my opinion, it was and is clear negligence. Being in a remote town like Derby is hard enough without having to worry about whether your health will be cared for by a health service.


Response from Bec Smith, Regional Director, WACHS - Kimberley 3 weeks ago
Bec Smith
Regional Director,
WACHS - Kimberley
Submitted on 10/11/2020 at 09:45
Published on Care Opinion at 09:46

picture of Bec Smith

Dear DismissedbyGP,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Derby Hospital.

I am so sorry to hear about your ankle injury and that you were left feeling dismissed and ignored by some of the staff involved in your care. I want to better understand what took place and ensure that you are receiving the care and support you need. I also want to investigate the details of what happened to make sure that this does not happen to another patient and their family.

If you are happy to speak with me, please call me on (08) 9195 2450 or you can email me at bec.smith@health.wa.gov.au. Alternately you may wish to speak with our Regional Medical Director Dr Sue Phillips on (08) 9195 2450 or email sue.phillips@health.wa.gov.au.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to reflect on the care so that we can ensure we provide safe and high-quality care for everyone in the community.

I would genuinely welcome your call and hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Bec Smith

Regional Director

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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