"Discharged home without help and support"
Posted by Disgruntled Relative (as ),
Complaint re discharge of neighbour of mine who has always been independent until now, and financially poor, has lived alone in a bedsit on income support, although not every week due to DWP sanctions, recent unexpected, emergency total colectomy and, ileostomy (This is my neighbour, not a relative of mine and he has no family to help him) No transport, no working washing machine and would be unable to afford taxis to independently take care of his own shopping needs. Also has failing sight in one eyet.
Despite my informing various staff on ward E15 and also telephoning adult Social care at Nottingham City Council (Mary Potter centre) on a week after his surgery in December), to ensure to perform a safe discharge, appropriate for his needs, meaning that I felt that he would need social support until he is independent again, due to his lone circumstances as I explained to them, and also requesting a Social worker assessment, he was discharged home on the late December 2014 but the support which was promised from redcross home from hospital is not available to take place until the second week in Jan which is over a week without much needed help with his daily living.
No Social worker assessed his needs at all while he was in hospital. It also seems to me that none of my concerns were documented or passed on as I needed to keep repeating them each time I telephoned.
He had no food in his cupboards as he was admitted as an emergency whilst attending the treatment centre for a CT scan, on the day that he was due to collect his fortnightly benefit and do his shopping. The ward supplied some basic food supplies for the day of discharge and morning after, but when I asked the discharge staff nurse who would help him with shopping up until support was put in place I found her attitude quite rude and she talked over me (stating that the hospital can’t keep patients that were able to walk and care for their stoma unaided) He had only seen the Stoma nurse the day before his discharge may I add. He ran out of wipes within a day and has used a full toilet roll and a further pack of wipes which we gave to him (and it is still 6 days before support is in place )The nurse was not interested in listening to me or answering any of my concerns regarding who was going to provide assistance between discharge and the second week in January, even though I had stated in no uncertain terms that I would not be willing or available to undertake any home care tasks eg shopping, washing or keep going round to check on him etc.
She stated that she had discussed with the senior staff and that they had agreed that he should be discharged despite no available help and she told me that in her opinion he would be able to go out the next day and do his own shopping etc and did not need any help.
I told her that the roads and pavements had not been gritted and were hazardous underfoot and we were a long way from shops. On his arrival home it transpired that his prepayment gas and electricity meters had no credit and therefore my husband had to get into our car after finishing his shift at work to get meter credit for him (shops are not within walking distance and the roads and pavements were too icy to walk on even for a fit person)
We found out the next morning that the gas credit which we purchased and had dropped off to him at his door the previous evening, for heating and hot water, was used up straight away due to the meter being on emergency before and whilst he was in hospital. Therefore this man had spent the whole night of his first evening after discharge without central heating or hot water on the coldest night of the year, because you had deemed him fit to take care of his own needs. We had to go out and buy more for him the following day.
As of today, due to his Stoma being active for most of the time even during the night, he is too frightened to try and walk the long distance to the nearest shops and back, he is also very weak and really looks much less fit and unsteady than he did before he went into hospital. He says that he would not be able to go out to do his own shopping.
I therefore have now had this responsibility foisted up on me by your inept processes, eg ensuring he has provisions etc due to feeling sorry for this man.
This is unacceptable to me, especially as I had told the hospital in no uncertain terms that my position was that I would be unable to accept this kind of responsibility and that he had no-one to help him and I was assured that It would not become my problem. I have my own health and family responsibilities to deal and worry about and just cannot take this on board as well.
Please arrange some help at home for this man, as a matter of urgency to help him with his daily living and to assess his ongoing needs, and before the end of this week.
What if this person did not have a good neighbour? I feel that I have been taken advantage of by the NHS and this cannot go on and I will need to just say no this is not my responsibility, which is becoming quite a worry to me.
It does not seem to have been taken into consideration by the NHS nursing staff that this unexpected surgery has been a life changing event for this person or the fear, embarrassment and vulnerability he must be feeling at this moment in time.
This man has been ignored for most of his life, by most departments of the welfare state which I believe has in part lead to the need for this operation to be performed in the first place.
He has been ill and struggling for over a year, and also received many DWP sanctions whilst on Jobseekers allowance due to feeling too ill to look for work and has only now reached a diagnosis and treatment.
Maybe if he had been diagnosed earlier he would not have needed this drastic surgery.
Please therefore fulfil your obligations and refer to appropriate agencies forthwith.