Dr Karen Coyle


Specialises in:

  • General Practice

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Where this Doctor works


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14th June 2017
Written by a patient at Ucc - Cambridge Ooh

I saw Dr Karen Coyle on 20th September 2012 with a suspected DVT, following deterioration after an initial suspected trivial pulled muscle on 25th August 2012. On 26th August 2012 I visited A & E on the advice of NHS Direct, as the 'pulled muscle' had unexpectedly deteriorated in spite of home RICE - rest, compression, elevation and ice, - treatment over night. The limb was not typical for a pulled muscle or a sprain. A & E discharged me on the advice that it would get better within a few days. And I was refused access to crutches on the expectation of resolution within a day or two. Hence when I saw Dr Karen Coyle on 20th September 2012, three weeks later, it was clear that the diagnosis made in A & E was very wrong. By then, a swelling of the foot from the previous week, had spread over the previous day to include the whole limb. The limb had become cold the week before, and had been left non-functional, without feeling. I had seen my GP Dr Alisdair Macnair, nine days after onset, and he had told me to pay to see a Bupa physiotherapist.. I then saw him again on 17th September, i.e. a few days before Dr Karen Coyle - at which time he had recorded no (whole) limb swelling. Hence the massive swelling or the right leg, as presented to Dr Coyle was a new symptom. I had spent eight hours trying to access an appointment taht day, as my GP surgery was unexpectedly closed due to training. But I was not mobile enough to walk using crutches the 400 meters to the surgery. And I was too immobile to drive. I had been told the previous day - 19th September 2012 - by a SCDC Cllr, Hazel Smith, that my leg looked just like when she had a DVT.. Hence I was seeking help for a suspected DVT, corroborated by NHS Symptom Checker, and also by a known family history of DVT (mother, iliac DVT). However, in spite of the strong suggestion that a DVT was likely, Dr Coyle disregarded my mention of a family history of DVT. And refused to refer me to NHS Addenbrookes for a d-Dimer, because they were on black alert.. (her words..). Dr Coyle explicitly advised me NOT to go to A & E as 'they (would be) unable to help'. Again, her words. I tried to get a GP appointment the following day, but I was refused an appointment by the receptionist. My husband carried me into the surgery, and my GP - Dr Alisdair Macnair - refused me NHS treatment, but agreed to sign a Bupa referral dated 21st September 2012. I then rang every orthopaedic consultant locally until I found one that had a cancellation appointment, whom I could see quickly. Then I faxed through the referral for the swollen limb (and other failed leg, due to a prior knee weakness). The DVT was discovered by Dr Aloke Singhania at The Spire, Bupa, on 1st October 2012, after 11 days under his care, of his looking for a tear or damage to the lower limb to explain the gross swelling, and loss of use. There was initially an x-ray to rule out a fracture, followed by an MRI several days later, followed by an ultrasound five days after that. The DVT was found above the knee, after no explanation for the swelling and disability could be found below the knee. the DVT was diagnosed by ultrasound, at my suggestion of the family history of DVT; no d-Dimer had been performed at any point. If Dr Coyle had performed the recommendation of a d-Dimer alongside a Wells Criteria (which asks specifically about family history), I believe that my post thrombotic syndrome would be less severe, and I might not be left with a limp, and a permanent deficit in my mobility. Before Dr Karen Coyle's 'care', I was able to run a half marathon in 2 hours 11 minutes, and a 5km in just under 27 1/2 minutes. It took me 2 years to 'run' again, albeit with a Trendelenburg Gait, and a limp. I still struggle with mobility. All of which would have been avoidable had I accessed decent care, and got an NHS referral for a d-Dimer. I take pain killers daily, in order to be able to walk. And I wear a compression stocking to mitigate the post thrombotic syndrome damage to the vein in my right leg. NB I was refused NHS haematology or access to any NHS orthopaedic consultant or MSK whilst on anticoagulation, and I saw no consultant at any time whilst on warfarin, in spite of my asking. I was told that those refusals to treat me, were because my DVT was diagnosed by Bupa. Perhaps worst of all: when I made a formal complaint, Dr Coyle failed to respond for several years. And then claimed to have carried out a Wells Criteria - which is done alongside a d-Dimer, rather as a proxy for.. and, involves taking down a family history. My medical notes relating to the appointment with Dr Coyle were inexplicably 'lost' from all my medical files, until November 2015. i.e. over 3 years after the incident, and I was refused access to those records, repeatedly, in spite of asking formally in writing, repeatedly over those 3 years. I finally accessed my records in 2016. They contained another patient's records relating to 17th September 2012, which Dr Coyle, or any GP checking my records, should have noticed.. especially since there was an NHS Ombudsman case relating to those records, and also an appeal case, relating specifically to failure sin care around the delay in my diagnosis between 26/August 2012 and October 2012, and then the failure to provide NHS haematology oversight to my anticoagulation between October 2012 and January 2013 when I was discharged from coagulation, without having been examined by anyone other than a physiotherapist Nicky Broughton who advised that she had never previously seen, and had never treated, a DVT.


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