"I was frightened I would never be allowed home"

About: Rotherham Hospital

(as the patient),

I was in Rotherham General in 2008 with pressure sores. I anted to go home and receive care there but the team looking after me just said there were no carers available to provide this level of care in the community - I can't see how this could be true.

On Christmas day I was told I would be "home soon". I was then sent to a home, and told this would be for 12 weeks. I didn't want to go - I made this very clear - but I was sent anyway and told it would be just short-term.

I kept asking when I'd get to go home but the answers seemed to get more and more vague. I suddenly found myself with social workers. I have no idea why. I have never had a social worker before and didn't need one then either.

I continued to ask when I'd get home with vague answers all the time. I hated it at the home. I found one of the nurses there behaved awful and rude towards me. I should have been home by March 2008, but by August 2009 I was still there and thinking I'd never get home. It was so frightening.

Finally in May 2010 I got the opportunity to go home - thank god!

I was, and am, so annoyed that during all that time I've had to pay for my care at the home and my DLA was stopped. I even had to pay for the taxi home. I now have carers pop in 3-4 times a week. Why was that so much to ask for in the first place?

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Response from Helen Wyatt, Project Manager, Patient & Public Engagement, NHS Rotherham

Dear verbal899

I was saddened to hear your story, and that your experience has not been a good one.

I will do my best to address some of the issues that you talk about, but some of this is hard to do, as the period of hospital care is quite some time ago, and your concerns cross several services.

To have needed such care for such a long time, you must have been quite ill; I do hope that your situation has improved, and wish you well.

When someone is hospitalized because of pressure sores, these are usually deep and even after treatment may take a very long time to heal. During this time it is essential that the person has the best care possible, this includes moving them often to prevent further sores developing.

This information may be useful to you

· There are clear process where staff will ask patients if they would like to request or decline social services involvement

· There are also clear processes, advice and information whenever care is provided for someone to make sure that patients, family & carers are fully informed of discharge procedures.

· When someone is admitted to residential care, they go there for up to 12 weeks on a short-term placement

· After this period a Social Worker goes out and re-assesses the service user to see whether they need to be admitted to residential care as a permanent resident or whether the person should return home to the community with a support package such as a home care. As soon as this can safely happen, it does.

· In the last 2 years we have made many developments in the support and help that can be provided in someone’s home, so that they do not need to go into nursing or residential care

· Where ever possible we work together across health and social care so that people can be in their own homes. Sometimes the level of care they require means that this isn’t always possible.

If these processes and systems have not worked, we would like to look into the case and work with you to understand why this has happened, so that we can ensure it would not happen again.

One of my colleagues in the local authority is looking into the concerns you raise around care home staff, but it is proving hard to do this without more specific information. If you felt able to supply additional information to us, we would be happy to discuss the situation in more detail, as we do seek to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients.

I would appreciate it if you would be willing to contact us to discuss the issues in more detail.

You could contact the Patient Services Team at the hospital on 01709 531 303, who would very much like to speak with you.

Alternatively, you can contact our Patient Advice Service on 01709 423 030, for advice and support.

You could also contact me on 01709 302 042, should you wish to do so.

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