"Very poor discharge, no aftercare, for our mum..."

About: St James's University Hospital / Older people's healthcare

Our mother was admitted to St James Hospital after having an accident in which she broke 2 ribs. She was in agony throughout her stay and prescribed morphine and oral morphine. She was discharged without a package of care because, according to the Ward Sister, she could walk to the toilet with her zimmer frame unaided and transfer from the bed to the chair! This took our mother forever to do! She was sent home against our wishes and without us being present and the hospital even rang up a neighbour who had a key because we could not get to the hospital in their time frame. The hospital did not discuss their discharge plan with our mother instead going to her at 3.20 in the afternoon telling her she was going home there and then. The hospital sent her home with AGE UK who then 'walked her down to her sheltered housing bungalow' despite our mother still being very immobile and suffering significant pain. The hospital did not arrange a care package for her and subsequently she has had to be admitted to an intermediate care bed to get her back on her feet. This is what should have happened in the first place. She was on Ward 28. We have tried to bring a complaint and are having to 'jump through hoops' before this complaint can even be looked at! The care of older people is appalling and this re-opens all the hurt we had when the hospital did not care for our father properly. My mother was terrified to go into St James Hospital, doesn't this tell them something. The way they treat older people is appalling. We are able to advocate for our mother but what about all those older people who have no one to speak for them! It came to light, after speaking with our mother, that the reason they sent her home so quickly was because of infection on the ward.............. The sister of that ward was very rude and the same is said of another staff member my brother also spoke with. They know nothing of the worries we have for our mother. Time to start listening to patients loved ones I think St James! And the fact the only option I have is 'geriatric medicine' in respect of which department we visited say it all really.

Story from NHS Choices

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