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Dad who fell 15ft can barely walk after doctors failed to spot fractured hip

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Original article from Kent Live

A single dad from Ramsgate has been left disabled after medical professionals failed to diagnose his fractured hip.

Robbie Barber, 42, was left suffering with a fractured hip for three months after A&E staff at East Kent Hospitals University Trust ignored his complaints of pain in his leg and failed to perform an X-ray on his hip.

The former labourer had been admitted to A&E after falling 15 feet from the roof of a shed in March 2017.

Robbie had been helping a friend with some DIY when the accident occurred and was immediately rushed to hospital via ambulance.

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The trust has since apologised for its mistake, which left Robbie's left leg two inches shorter and him unable to walk 100 yards to the high street.

Prior to the fall, the 42-year-old not only worked as a labourer and a barman, but had just completed a course in massage therapy.

He had completed the course nine months before the fall, even purchasing equipment to begin practising, which he hasn't been able to do.

Robbie battled for three years to prove that the medical professionals who treated him at the trust had been negligent, according to Patient Claim Line.

'I was trying to tell them all along'

On March 15 2017, Robbie was kindly helping a friend with some DIY when the accident happened.

Falling 15ft from a shed roof, an ambulance immediately rushed him to hospital.

He had landed on his left foot and wrist, causing a searing pain in his hip, leg and wrist.

Although he had complained to doctors about the injuries all down his left side, he says he was "ignored".

Robbie Barber spent three months with a fractured hip after a 15ft fall from the roof of a shed

An X-Ray was only taken of his heel and wrist resulting in "medical staff failing to diagnose his left hip fracture".

It wasn't until three months later, on June 20, 2017, that Robbie's fractured hip was actually diagnosed.

Robbie said: "I was raging because I was trying to tell them all along and nobody had listened to me at all.

"It just made it all the harder to take, especially as I had told them."

'Lonely period'

The single dad-of-one eventually underwent operations to his left heel and wrist.

However the slow his diagnosis left him with significant ongoing pain and discomfort.

Robbie is now registered as disabled and struggles to walk 100 yards to his local high street.

Robbie was left with a huge scar on his hip

He has also been left with the unfortunate increased risk of developing osteoarthritis in the future.

He explained: "I used to go out a lot more and my son Leo said to me the other day, you’re not the same person you were four or five years ago.

"To be honest, before all this I had a broad spectrum of friends and I carried a real social outlook.

"Before the injury, obviously, I went to a fit club and had friends there, along with plenty of other places.

Robbie sits alongside his mum after being let down by the doctors

"Then when what happened, happened, I couldn’t go to these things and then lockdown happened.

"So, it’s changed a great deal because I couldn’t go out. I’d describe it as quite a lonely period."

In October 2017, Robbie sought the help of lawyer at Patient Claim Line who took on his case.

A spokesman said: "The Trust has also accepted that because of their own negligence, the fracture that was identified healed in a malunion – when the bones heal in the wrong position.

"Robbie has been left with a maligned leg and a significant reduction in his range of movement. His left leg is also now two inches shorter."

After a three year battle with the trust, Robbie was compensated with £80,000.

He is also in the process of moving to better suited accommodation in the form of a ground floor flat.

"We’ve not yet moved, but we are planning on moving to Salisbury," he said.

"We’re just waiting on Leo to get his exam results in the post.

"He’s hoping to get his diploma and then off to university in September where he’ll study music."

"As for the future, I’m looking forward to everything getting back to normal."

Siobhan Jordan, interim chief nurse at East Kent Hospitals Trust, said: "We would like to offer our sincere apologies to Mr Barber and apologise that the care provided to him fell short of the high standards we aim to provide.

"Whenever circumstances such as these give rise to concerns we always conduct a thorough investigation to understand what lessons can be learned, even from very rare events, to ensure that we continue to provide services that offer safe care, support and treatment to our patients."

Original Article