"Lack of understanding"

About: Stoke on Trent PCT

(as a relative),

My late mother worked as a nurse for over forty years. She was passionate about the NHS. She would never have accepted that there is a difference between social and health care, as she knew that a patient’s comfort, cleanliness and nutrition, were essential to medical well-being. I failed to explain this effectively to a recent IRP which upheld the PCT’s decision that my mother’s needs had been primarily social – unable to communicate, to move independently, requiring total anticipation of her every need and monitoring of her condition. I was appalled when a clinical adviser on the panel dismissed my comment that any professional medical input had been solely reactive, by informing me that GPs/CPNs etc do not generally visit those in residential care unless hard-pressed care assistants identify an obvious need such as chest/urinary infections. I was also distressed that it was suggested that my mother had no or only low psychological/emotional needs as there was no external manifestation of inner distress. She was locked in her own mind and body, unable to identify pain – physical or mental.

I, her only relative, could do little caring, living and working 200 miles away, but I had presumed, that as she was registered with a GP and had been diagnosed with arterio-sclerotic dementia in 2002, she would not have fallen below the NHS radar to the extent that I was to discover. I feel she was badly let down, but I trust that she was unaware of this.

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