Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Car accident victim with broken back waits a week for CT scan

A mother of four who suffered a serious spinal injury in a road collision has had to wait seven days for a CT scan to diagnose the extent of her injuries, because a scanner at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital has broken down.

Patricia Hamilton (33) suffered a fractured spine, three broken ribs and two crushed vertebrae in a collision near Dromore last Tuesday.

According to her husband William (36), the delay in obtaining the CT scan is preventing her treatment from moving forward.

“It is not good, it’s a disaster. I don’t think it’s acceptable to be lying with a broken back and two crushed vertabrae and two fractured ribs for a week,” Mr Hamilton said.

”The way she is being treated on the wards is fantastic, the nurses have been very attentive, and while they are very busy, they are still making time for her.

“The kids are breaking their hearts over it, and it looks like she will not be able to get home for Christmas, as they cannot start the treatment until they have the CT scan.

“On my part I’m very angry; you work hard and you pay your taxes and national insurance, but what are you paying them for?

“We are in one of the top ten hospitals in the world, and they have two scanners and one is broken.

“Normally you would have an X-ray first and then you are scanned either the same day or the next day, but she has been waiting since Tuesday.”

DUP MLA for Lagan Valley Jonathan Craig , who has taken up the fight for Mrs Hamilton, said he had to take the case to the Trust’s chief executive’s office, and was told the patient would get a scan tomorrow.

A Belfast Trust spokesman said last night: “A CT scanner in the Royal Victoria Hospital developed a fault last week, which has now been fixed.

“This unfortunately created a small backlog of patients to be scanned. This situation should be rectified early this week.”

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