Pensioner's anger at care over stick in foot

A pensioner from Wolverhampton was left for eight days with a two-inch cocktail stick embedded in her foot – despite visiting two A&E departments, a medical centre and a doctor’s surgery.

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A pensioner from Wolverhampton was left for eight days with a two-inch cocktail stick embedded in her foot – despite visiting two A&E departments, a medical centre and a doctor’s surgery.

Josephine Hickens said she was given three X-rays at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital, even though the wooden stick would not have shown up.

In agony, she eventually turned to her 19-year-old granddaughter Sarah Bartlett, from Dudley, who removed the stick.

The saga began for 79-year-old Mrs Hickens when she stepped on the stick while on holiday in Harlech, Wales, on August 14.

It embedded itself between her big toe and second toe and the following day she went to the local doctors’ surgery where she as advised she go to A&E in Porthmadog.

She was sent home with antibiotics and advised to get an X-ray, although she said she couldn’t get one there because the radiographer was ill.

Three days later she went to New Cross Hospital where she had three X-rays before doctors sent her home after allegedly saying they “didn’t want to go digging around in there”.

She said she then visited Pheonix Medical Centre, in Parkfields, where doctors told her they did not have the facilities to treat her and offered her more antibiotics.

Mrs Hickens, from Gordon Avenue, Lanesfield, said: “It was quite unbelievable and to put it mildly I feel extremely let down by the health service and the medical profession.

“I received almost no care at New Cross in my opinion, the doctor seemed to think I was romancing it.

“At the Phoenix Centre the doctor glanced very briefly at my foot and said they didn’t have the facilities there to deal with it. I was absolutely shocked.

“The pain was so bad I was desperate and when Sarah pulled it out we both had a shock.”

Laura Broster, spokesman for Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust said no complaint had been received about the case but added:

“We are obviously disappointed whenever we hear that a local resident has had a less than satisfactory experience of the services which we purchase on behalf of the local population and wish this lady a speedy recovery.”

New Cross Hospital refused to comment.

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