Children with buckle injuries of the wrist or collarbone fractures, as well as adults with boxer’s fractures in their hands, no longer have to return to hospital for extra appointments and check-ups. This is in line with national guidelines which say it is not necessary for patients to return to a fracture clinic with these injuries unless there is a concern.
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mohamed Elmeligy, is leading the changes with the help of his colleagues. He said: “Currently we see patients in A&E, invite them to come to the fracture clinic a few days later and again after six weeks. Patients can experience long waits in the fracture clinic and often unnecessary x-rays and then see no change to the treatment plan they received from A&E. With this new service, they will be seen, treated and discharged from A&E with advice and a telephone number they can call with any concerns.
“We estimate that around 400 patients each year will benefit from the new streamlined service at Lincoln. This will free up around 200 hours of nursing time that can be put back into the emergency departments, as well as reducing unnecessary delays in the fracture clinic.”
The plan is to treat even more injuries in this way and also roll it out to the emergency departments at Boston and Grantham hospitals.
Orthopaedic Paediatric Surgeon, Tom Southorn, said: “We need to modernise the way we are treating children and patients who have suffered these injuries. We know that these injuries heal very well, in a short period of time with little to no risk of long term complications. The key thing is that everyone benefits from this change. This will be so much better, especially for our young patients and their families as they will no longer have to take time out of school and work to attend these appointments. It will also enable us to see emergency cases sooner whilst requiring no additional funding.”
Orthopaedic and Upper Limb Surgeon, Charles Corbin, added: “Our colleagues in A&E are now able to diagnose the fractures, treat the patients and send them home with an advice sheet and a contact number to call the team if they have any concerns with how they are recovering. If they need to come in we can simply make them an appointment and see them quickly. It really is a win-win situation for everyone involved, particularly our young patients and their families.”