A BUSINESSMAN looking to patch up a badly cut hand so he could continue working finally received some treatment...at the vet’s!
Now Tony Thomas, who owns Ham Corner in Todmorden Market Hall, wants local medical authorities to look again at the issue of referring injuries of this type to the accident and emergency department at Calderdale Royal Hospital after two medical practices told him they were unable to deal with it.
Mr Thomas was catering at a function at Walsden Cricket Club last Wednesday, January 11, when he tripped coming out of the building, dropped a plate and fell on it, badly cutting his hand.
The cut was bandaged and a towel wrapped around it and he went to Todmorden Medical Centre seeking further treatment to the wound that would allow him to finish his work for the day before travelling 12 miles to the casualty unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.
But at both Todmorden Group Practice and the walk-in practice based at the centre he was told they could not deal with the wound further and he must go to the emergency department.
“I still had a job to do and couldn’t just not do it. So I went to the vet’s and asked if there was anything they could do for me and they cleaned and glued it and put a bandage on. Later I got down to Halifax and sorted it out. They couldn’t stop laughing when I told them I’d been to the vet,” he said.
Todmorden Group Practice manager Tracy Wilson said when Mr Thomas removed the towel there was a dressing on the wound, otherwise the practice had a policy in place to deal with an undressed wound.
“But we don’t have the facility to stitch and glue it and had to send him to Halifax. I did apologise to him that we don’t offer accident and emergency services and are not contracted to deal with things like that,” she said.
Debbie Robinson, head of primary care for NHS Calderdale, said: “The Walk-In Centre does not offer wound stitching, so following assessment, the patient was appropriately advised to seek treatment at accident and emergency. GP surgeries will only offer stitching where a minor procedure has been performed on site and would also have advised the patient to attend A&E.”
Mr Thomas, who is appreciative of the good work local surgeries do, said the issue was also an economic one in that many people could not easily afford to take the time out of work to travel to Halifax and back. He hoped the NHS would look into contracting general practice surgeries to be able to do this kind of work.