"Is there anyone who can help make my father's twilight time comfortable and safe?"

About: North Devon District Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My father has needed care since before 2005. When my mother died in 2005 she was his primary carer and I feel that he has been pretty much abandoned since then.

Social Services informed me that he was not entitled to help because he has means. Since then he has been refusing help because he feels he's paid National Insurance all his life and is entitled to help. He has been in and out of hospital since 2005 and has broken more bones in his body than I can remember. On each occasion he is packed off home only to injure himself again. It must be costing the NHS a fortune.

This year he went into hospital in April, self discharged twice only to be back in hospital after a matter of days.

This week he was discharged from hospital having been assessed by a psychiatrist as being of 'sound mind' and 'with capacity'. I saw him at the weekend - he could barely keep a coherent thought in his mind for longer than 10 seconds, was muddled and confused and wasn't able to get up out of his chair. I BEGGED the hospital not to discharge him but they ignored my pleas.

I have tried to no avail to speak with senior members of staff at North Devon District Hospital but have had no response to any of my communications.

His GP cannot help him because he is deemed to be of 'sound mind'. Social Services appear to have washed their hands of him.

Is there nobody out there who can help me make my father's twilight time comfortable and safe?

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear TapWhizz

Thank you for contacting Patient Opinion with your concerns. I'm really sorry to see that you have had such an anxious time with your father recently.

I am especially concerned that you have tried to contact senior members of staff, and have not been able to.

I would welcome the opportunity to look into your concerns, and further support you. Please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01271 314090, who, with more information, will look into your issues and try to resolve them.


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Update posted by TapWhizz (a relative)

Dear Jane

Thanks for responding. I finally received a response from a 'senior member of staff', ie your Chief Executive Jac Kelly! However, she did not respond to all the points I raised in my emails, merely responded to my previous complaint about the inappropriate behaviour of a staff member, the story of which you can find at this link: https://www.patientopinion.org.uk/opinions/64539. I have written back expressing my astonishment that I feel she has listened to lies her staff have told her and pretty much dismissed my complaint, leaving me feeling fobbed off yet again. To be honest, I'm fed up with being pushed from pillar to post while my father is suffering at home. I have been in touch with the Court of Protection and will most likely go down this route to try to help to make my father safe because in my humble opinion the system, the NHS and the Social Services have let him down time and time again. I am seriously concerned that he is a real danger to himself and that it will be just a matter of time before he injures himself again - possibly fatally.

Yours in real distress, Lesley.