Turned away with broken arm

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A Forfar woman turned away from Stracathro Hospital in excruciating pain has described her treatment as “absolutely crazy”.

Joyce Murison was hill-walking with her two sisters-in-law earlier this month when she stumbled on the Kilbo Path on the way to the summit of Driesh in Glen Clova.

She put her right arm out to stop her fall and knew instantly she had broken it.

As they travelled down from the Angus glen the ladies decided their best stop for treatment was Stracathro, given its track record for orthopaedic surgery.

However, when they arrived, Joyce was refused treatment as the hospital on the A90 has no minor injuries unit.

Although it does have an x-ray department, she was advised to either travel to Arbroath or Ninewells where she could be x-rayed, or to Brechin or Forfar where she could be assessed and then sent back to Stracathro for an x-ray.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was standing in a hospital only to be told to go down to Brechin or Forfar to find out it was broken. If the staff there thought it was broken I would have to go back to Stracathro. It was absolutely crazy. I was in excruciating pain.

“I knew right away I had broken my arm. I was in a lot of pain. but I couldn’t get past the receptionist.

“To make matters worse, the receptionist phoned through to the x-ray department at Stracathro when I was there to check there was someone on duty - and there was - but I still had to leave.

“We ended up going through to Ninewells where my arm was put in plaster.”

Joyce fell at around 12 o’clock and after an hour’s walk to the car, then the trip to Stracathro, didn’t receive treatment in Ninewells until around 4 p.m.

She said: “I wasn’t seen by any medical professional at Stracathro.”

Joyce had to go back to Ninewells on Friday and will be getting more x-rays there on Wednesday (today) - to see what treatment she requires.

She added: “The whole thing was unbelievable. I just want to let other people know what can happen. What would have happened if there had been blood pouring out - it’s just crazy.”

An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “There are four Minor Illness and Injury Units in Angus; they can be found at Brechin Infirmary, Links Health Centre in Montrose, Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre in Forfar and Arbroath Infirmary.

“MIIUs are staffed by highly trained specialist nurses who can assess and treat each patient who attends the unit on a range of illnesses and injuries.

“There are signs on the A90 explaining that Stracathro Hospital has no A&E facilities. There has not been a Minor Illness and Injury Unit at Stracathro for over 10 years.

“Very occasionally people present at Stracathro 
Hospital looking for an MIIU and they are advised where all the MIIUs in Angus are including those with x-ray facilities and that the nearest Accident and Emergency Department is at Ninewells Hospital.”