Elbowed aside by hospital


An Arrowtowner’s livid that Queenstown’s hospital bumped her from a fracture clinic six days after breaking her elbow.

After breaking her right elbow in a fall late one recent Saturday night, Lesley Morel drove to Lakes District Hospital (LDH) where her arm was put in a sling.

She was told she’d need a cast but wouldn’t get one till the hospital held its weekly fracture clinic the following Friday.

Morel says she was given an appointment time but that when she phoned in while driving to the clinic, she was told “don’t bother”.

“They said, ‘oh, I’m sorry, you can’t get a cast today because there’s so many other people who have broken things, we’ve had to bump you off the list’.

“I’m like, what the f…?

“They said, ‘well, the only thing you can do is drive yourself to Invercargill hospital to get a cast, or wait another week’.”

Morel says she’d been in enough pain over the week that she decided to drive down the following day.

“I got to the end of the lake, and I had to come back, it was too sore.”

Fortunately, she says a friend took a day off work and drove her down two days later.

She felt “fantastic” after getting a cast, but remains sore about how she was treated – “what the hell’s going on round this place?”

In response, LDH operations manager Janeen Holmes says: “We have spoken to Ms Morel to address any concerns she has had and apologised for any miscommunications.”