"Discharging patients needs to be done properly."

About: Salisbury District Hospital

(as the patient),

My father in law was taken into A&E just over a week ago and then warded into Whiteparish Ward at Salisbury District Hospital. The care that he received was very good, even though the nurses and doctors were giving different information to the family and the patient. We were under the impression that he would not be coming out until Tuesday or Wednesday next week (8/9 May). I have just received a phone call from his neighbour saying that he had been dropped off outside his house without any warning to his wife. Unfortunately, his wife is out and the neighbour has been good enough to take him in and look after him until his wife gets back. This happened the last time that he was in the hospital. He is not a well man and to be discharged and dropped off outside his house with no notice to his wife is downright disgusting. The man is 76 years old. To be brutally honest, I should have expected this because it often seems to me that at a Bank Holiday weekend the "walking wounded" patients are discharged as the hospitals don't really like to have patients in the wards over this period.

I phoned my husband to tell him and he was, quite rightly, very distressed. My mother in law will be very very upset that this has happened. She is 81 and not very well herself.

The ward should have made sure that his wife was home (she very rarely goes out anyway) to receive him.

I do wonder how many times this does happen. I hope that he does not fall ill again.

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Response from Patient Opinion 17 years ago
Submitted on 10/05/2007 at 12:50

Discharge from hospital is one of those important times when its really important to get things right - especially for those who are elderly or vulnerable. And so often the main problem is a lack of communication.

Of course on busy wards not making that phone call, or making it three times but not getting through and then forgeting is understandable but still not excusable.

What would help (at least some of the time) would be for NHS staff and systems to be set up to use text messaging and email like the rest of the world does. May be one day....?

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