Chorley OAP left using crutches after doctors failed to spot his broken hip

An active Lancashire pensioner now depends on crutches to walk after doctors failed to spot his fractured hip.

Friday, 1st September 2017, 10:47 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:45 pm
An active Lancashire pensioner now depends on crutches to walk after doctors failed to spot his fractured hip. David Longmire, aged 71, from Chorley is the second OAP in five months who has come forward to complain about treatment he recieved at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital.

David Longmire, 71, from Chorley is the second OAP in five months who has come forward to complain about treatment he received at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital.

In April, 86-year-old Teresa Brocklehurst, from Adlington, was sent home twice from Chorley Hospital in agony after A&E staff failed to spot that she had her broken hip.

Now David, who tripped and fell in 2013 putting air in his car tyres, has come forward to warn others of his trauma.

“The whole process has been an extremely frustrating ordeal,” said David, who is now unable to do the hobbies he loves after needing a full hip replacement.

“The doctors refused to believe me when I told them that I was in excruciating pain, and their lack of action at the start has directly contributed to my condition now.”

After his fall, David’s wife Yvonne, 61, took him to Chorley’s A&E.

The former heavy goods vehicle driver was in agony but doctors did not realise that he had fractured his hip and incorrectly told him that it was just bruised.

During an examination, medical staff believed that David hadn’t sustained serious injuries and he was sent home with painkillers and told the pain would soon pass. His request for an X-ray was ignored.

Because the Geoffrey Street resident was given no instructions to rest he carried on as normal for the next few days.

But after a week of putting weight on his injured leg, David was forced to return to hospital as the pain had become so severe he was unable to walk.

“As the week went on I was hobbling about and the pain gradually got worse and worse,” said David, who has two adult children Vicky, 31 and Sam, 41.

X-rays revealed that David had a fractured hip, which had worsened as time had gone on because he had not been advised to rest.

David said: “If they had said go home and rest, don’t walk on it, it might not have been as bad.”

As a result, David was told that he had to undergo a complete hip replacement at Royal Preston Hospital.

However, despite the surgery being a success, David still suffers significant pain.

He now struggles to walk and is unable to enjoy the activities such as fishing, travelling and photography that he did previously. The formerly very mobile pensioner will now have to rely on crutches for the rest of his life.

David said: “My mobility has really suffered after the operation, and I can barely leave the house now.

“ I still experience a great deal of pain and stiffness in my left hip, which really affects my day-to-day life as I’m very much restricted in my abilities.

“I can’t take my two Border Collies Meg and Jess out for a walk - if I do I’ll end up on my face.

“The doctors’ negligence has also cost me my independence - even everyday things like getting dressed and having a bath are almost impossible for me to do without my wife or daughter’s help.”

On realising that he had been a victim of negligent treatment, David contacted medical negligence firm Fletchers Solicitors to bring a claim.

The hospital accepted liability in 2015, admitting in its response to Fletchers that an X-ray should have been taken on David’s initial hospital visit, and that the fracture would have been spotted earlier had the appropriate tests been carried out. David received £7,000 in compensation.

Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Karen Partington said: “We sincerely apologise for any distress that has been caused.

“Our priority is to always provide excellent care with compassion for our patients; we regret that we did not achieve that on this occasion and we have worked with Mr Longmire to reach a resolution.”

Fiona Swarbrick, senior solicitor at Fletchers Solicitors, said: “The hospital failed to take appropriate care of David on his initial visit, and this has had awful consequences for his day-to-day life.

“When we visit the doctor with an injury or illness, we trust that they will take the appropriate care of us – which simply hasn’t been the case here. But what makes this case particularly shocking is that this isn’t the first time this hospital has come under criticism for misdiagnosing a hip injury.

“Clearly, lessons need to be learned from both these incidents to ensure similar mistakes are not repeated.

“We are pleased that we have been able to obtain justice for David and that the compensation will support the long-term care he now needs due to the hospital’s negligence.”

Chorley’s A&E department was forced to close in April 2016 due to staff shortages, a move which was hugely criticised by the local community, which campaigned to have the department reinstated.

On January 18, 2017, the department re-opened on a part-time basis.