"Discharge process needs working on!!"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

(as a relative),

My mother was in the QEH Birmingham for a week after having a major operation. She was so well looked after in Critical Care that I can't praise the staff enough. She was moved to a ward and again the care was very good, (in her opinion the food wasn't but that's another story) and all the staff were friendly and helpful.

It all fell apart when it came to discharge. Out of the blue I received a phone call from the ward saying Mum was being discharged, she is 80 years old, lives alone, still had a drain in her wound and was unable to walk unaided. We had been told (at the pre med day) that she would not be discharged until she could wash and dress herself, walk a distance and climb a flight of stairs. She could do none of this without considerable help. I asked if she could be discharged to our local Community Hospital (as she had already requested) and was told that "she would have to go home and arrange that herself" - those were the exact words!

I had to spend 4 hours sorting it out, speaking to her GP and getting a bed in the local hospital arranged. The GP said I should not have had to do this, the QEHB should have done it for us.

I am still stunned to think this can happen in this day and age, I thought elderly care was improving. I find this frightening.

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