"Care for my mother"

About: Medway Medway Maritime Hospital / Accident and emergency Platters Farm Lodge

(as a relative),

My Mother was admitted to Medway Hospital following a fall at home. Following this she was discharged to a residential care home at Platters Farm in Rainham for a period of six weeks, it may have been 5 weeks, where she would be given help to improve her mobility and safe return to home. Whilst at the hospital she was diagnosed with a water infection and prescribed antibiotics. Details of this infection were not passed on to Platters Farm.

At Platters Farm she was assessed as being ‘not at risk of falling’. They managed to get her to walk, just about, using a frame, but she was not really fit to be sent home.

On the day she was ‘discharged’ from the care home my brother and I were with her at her home. An occupational therapist was there to assess her within her own home. My Mother was unable to get up the 4 steps leading to her front door without a great deal of help. Once inside the therapist wanted to see how she would manage the stairs up to her bedroom. There are rails on both sides but even with these my mother struggled. Despite this the therapist’s view was that she had had her allotted time at the care home and now needed to get on with it at home.

The true state of my Mother’s condition was not taken into account before discharging her from the care home.

My mother was on Warfarin and antibiotics she had received had sent her readings off kilter so she needed to be taken to St Bart’s walk in clinic for weekly checks. Her GP did not explain that a district nurse could have been sent to do these checks for her at home. Instead I struggled to get a wheelchair in and out of my car to get her to the clinic for her checks. Very little was done to support my Mother at home. She seemed to get one infection after another, the GP dismissed it as something older people were prone to, no attempt was made to try and get to the real cause. The GP’s attitude was dismissive.

Whilst my mother was at home I tried to take her out every day, just to get her out. My brother came twice a week to help. At home she had no confidence to get in and out of the bath, I washed her down as she perched on a stool. Social Services were meant to assess her needs and provide any equipment she needed but this never happened.

I have queried why my mother was discharged when she was not really mobile or able to look after herself but have not had any satisfactory answer to this or to the question about the lack of comprehensive handover notes when she was transferred to the residential home. Nor do I have an explanation of the poor communication and level of care from her GP.

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Response from Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. I was sorry to read that the experience for your mother was not as good as it could have been both here at the hospital and at Platters Farm.

If you would like us to review the hospital pathway then please contact:

Tracey Jenkins, Governance Manager in Adult Medicine

telephone 01634 830000 ex 3701

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