"My father's discharge"

About: Hereford Hospital

(as a relative),

My father was admitted to Hereford three weeks ago with ascites and breathing problems due to advanced prostate cancer. He is 87. Tests were carried out, confirming that the cancer had spread to his liver and spleen. The fluid was drained to make him more comfortable and anti-emetic medication given to deal with nausea symptoms that were also causing him distress. He was not even keeping fluids down, and had to be on a drip. He was given his own room. This treatment has restored my father to a state of relative comfort, for which I am very grateful to the hospital.

He is now anxious to come home, where he wishes to die. The hospital is just as keen to discharge him, in order to free up the bed. However, the discharge process has been a fiasco, conducted without due regard for my fathers' needs or those of the family.

Pressure has been put on us by the palliative care staff, who insist that my father's wishes override the risks of releasing him into what might be an unsafe environment. There has been no coordination between the hospital and the community; it was left to me to contact the district nurses this week to ask if it will be possible to arrange for a nurse or carer to be present at night, given that my mother has severe arthritis and osteoporosis and is unable to lift or move my father.

The GP has never been kept in the loop; that again was left to me. The hospital proposes releasing him just before a bank holiday weekend, when it will be difficult to arrange for extra care should he need it. We have not had a chance to assess the equipment provided, which has arrived and is to be installed tomorrow, and nobody has explained how my father's symptoms, if they return, are to be controlled in the home environment.

This is not joined-up care, it is not responsible care, and I will call the hospital administration to account for the way the discharge has been handled.

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Response from Wye Valley NHS Trust

On behalf of the Wye Valley NHS Trust thank you for your comments in relation to your father's discharge.

In order that these concerns can addressed please contact the Patient Experience Team on 01432 372986 who will endeavour to help you with your concerns.

Patient Experience Team

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