Hospital failed to spot broken wrist

Nicolle O'Hara, nursing her broken wrist, with dad Anthony.

Nicolle O'Hara, nursing her broken wrist, with dad Anthony.

Hospital staff refused to arrange an x-ray for a schoolgirl who was later found to be suffering from a double fracture of her wrist.

Nicolle O’Hara’s family claim she was told to go home and keep her hand warm by washing dishes.

However, the 14-year-old was in so much pain that her parents took her to a second hospital where an x-ray was carried out and the serious injury showed up.

Now the O’Haras, of Wrangholm Drive, New Stevenston, have lodged an official complaint with NHS Lanarkshire.

Nicolle hurt her left hand while playing handball during PE at school last week. Dad Anthony said: “I’m no medical expert, but after school her hand was swollen and it looked to me as if it could be broken.”

Mum Ruth said they waited four hours in casualty at Wishaw General Hospital only to be told the injury did not merit an x-ray.

She explained: “A nurse told her to take painkillers and to come back if in five days if it was still bad.

“It was suggested Nicolle could do the dishes at home as her hand would benefit from warm water.”

But Nicolle was in such pain overnight her mum took her to Monklands Hospital the next day.

Ruth added: “A nurse there saw Nicolle’s wrist and said it looked broken.

“The x-ray confirmed it and her arm was put in plaster.

“Fortunately, it looks like she won’t need an operation.

“When I told the doctor what had happened at Wishaw he said it was terrible.”

The angry mum said the Wishaw casualty unit had been “mobbed” and staff seemed keen to finish the shift and get home.

She added: “Maybe they’re stretched with too much work.”

Faith McCrea, service manager for emergency and medical services at Wishaw, confirmed a complaint was being dealt with.

She said: “I apologise to Nicolle and her mum for what was obviously a very distressing experience.

“We aim to provide the highest quality of care and regret any instance where we have failed to meet this standard.”