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"Hospital misled us about father's discharge."

About: Ipswich Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as a service user),

After a hideous experience with Ipswich Hospital last April when Dad was last in, details here :- he was admitted to Ipswich Hospital again after a fall two weeks ago when he broke his hip. In fact, my mum spent a night with him in pain too scared to call for help after the atrocious experience at the hands of the hospital last year, under the pretext of "Covid". 

He was admitted to Needham Ward and a hip replacement performed. Despite both my parents having had their second Covid vaccine in January, and despite all vulnerable people having had theirs, AND all health professionals having had the vaccine, visiting was still restricted to one person an hour a day - and the same person throughout. (Really odd when my daughter was on the children's ward last month with full access, no masks, no distancing etc) 

This meant a HUGE burden for my 82 year old mother, who exhausted herself walking to the ward each day and ended up having a fall last week. As a result, and after no improvement physically in dad, an assessment bed in a care home was recommended. Mum was desperate to have him home but we persuaded her he would soon be home and an assessment was the best thing to see what his care needs were. She was very reluctant but a staff member on Needham Ward promised she would be able to visit him each day the same as in the hospital. We trusted the staff as their communication and care had been excellent this admission, which was a leap of faith for us after his last experience. 
Social services on the ward called me and told me that he had an NHS bed at Avocet Court, and I said we would only agree if visiting was the same as the hospital, my mum has had a very emotional week and needs to be able to see him - plus with advanced dementia he needs that contact. She said I would have to contact the home to book visits - which was expected, and I reiterated that Mum would need to be able to see him each day. 
Dad was transferred today, and whilst sitting in the ambulance with him waiting to leave Mum was given the number of Avocet Court and promised she could visit him tomorrow. She called this afternoon, only to be told that they do not allow visits, despite vaccinations, despite negative Covid tests, despite PPE..... it was "window visits" only and their were no "slots" all weekend. She is beside herself and we are very, very angry that we were told complete untruths. Avocet are probably taking excellent care of him, the hospital were mostly really good but to "lose" him like this unprepared is unacceptable. 
Families can only make informed decisions, and can only cope with outcomes they have been a part of. I had accepted I would not be able to visit him in hospital, which was hard as main carer alongside my mum - I usually see dad every day. But to mislead us about mum's access to him is totally unacceptable. Carers have paid a huge price during the last year, and actions like this have an enormous impact - whilst those guilty of misleading us enjoy their bank holiday.
I would also ask what on earth is the point of Covid vaccines if they don't open up care homes? Loneliness kills - there is no vaccine for that. Dad is in his last days. He needs connections with those who love him - Covid is the least of his worries and the only thing he's protected against.


Response from Patient Experience Insight and Improvement Officer, East Suffolk and North Essex Foundatin Trust last week
East Suffolk and North Essex Foundatin Trust
Submitted on 13/04/2021 at 11:38
Published on Care Opinion at 11:38

Thank you for letting us know about your recent experience with your fathers care and the issues you experienced during and after discharge. We would like to look into this further, however we need to gather some more information to do this. Could you please give me a call at your convenience on 01473 702101. Many thanks Steve Bruce - Patient Experience Team

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