"My mother should not be discharged to any empty house"

About: Rotherham Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My 90 year old infirm & partially sighted mother was being discharged by RDGH to an empty house with what I feel was inadequate care package. All medical staff I spoke to recommended to me 24 hour care for my mother and when asked by discharge matron she said she would feel much safer in residential care, but at a meeting, a social worker was able to overrule doctors and nursing staff.

I would like to know how this can be. I don’t feel the social worker has thought that her decision might be responsible for injuries received by my mother at home. She has frequent falls, she can barely eat by herself, has trouble walking to the toilet, can't change herself or wash herself and has a memory span of about 10 minutes. So far she hasn't suffered any major injuries but I think it's only a matter of time.

Is the RDGH responsible for the actions of this social worker? I must thank some of the nursing staff for the care they've shown my mother whilst she was on the ward but I've seen what I feel to be a darker side to the hospital and I wonder why senior nursing staff and doctors let some social workers go against their recommendations without standing up and saying something. I feel I have no choice but to seek an injunction to stop the RDGH from discharging her under these circumstances. When my mum was asked to stand, she collapsed to the floor in front of this social worker, but the social worker is adamant about the discharge conditions. In my opinion they are not fit to be a social worker.

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Response from Helen Wyatt, Manager, Patient and Public Involvement , Quality Assurance Team, Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group

I am so sorry to hear of the problems you are having.

Its's also a little hard for me to offer useful suggestions and support you in resolving this without more information. If you'd like to call me or a colleague to discuss any of these issues further, we'd be more than happy to help, I've included several names and contact numbers below.

To answer your question, the Social Workers within the hospital are not managed by the hospital trust (they are employed by RMBC but based at the hospital).

If your mum has not yet been discharged, you could contact my colleague Clair MacInnes in Patient Services at the Hospital; she would be able to liaise with the ward to ensure all the services your mum needs are in place. To do this, she would need to know what ward your mum is on.

You can contact Clair on 01709 307508.

If you would prefer, you could also speak to me, on 01709 302042.

Although our Patient Advice and Liaison Service don't deal with issues from the hospital, they hold a huge amount of information and contacts, and can be contacted on 01709 423030

Alternatively, you could contact Rotherham Council, as the employer of the Social Worker. I'm struggling to find a contact now (its 6.15pm) but will find a name and add this to this posting as soon as possible.

I can understand how distressing this situation must be for you - please contact one of us, and we will do our uptmost to support you in resolving the situation.

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