"Over the past few days I have seen some real good..."
About: Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester LE1 5WW
Posted by Steph Chapman
What I liked
This is the second insight into the care received by myself at the Leicester Royal Infirmary for a Gall stones issue. I began my journey in the surgical assessment unit until I had the long awaited operation on the 2 January 2013.
There was a problem over getting drinks on New Years Day on the Surgical assessment unit but once the right person was contacted they came to the ward and spoke to all who were in the bay to hear it from the patient perspective. This was good relationship building but I was on my way to theatre whilst she was on the ward.
I had absolutely no fears about the operation and went down to theatre with 2 of the nursing staff who had been caring for me. I was shown into the theatre and made comfortable on the table - the next thing I knew was I was waking up in the recovery room sore but not in agony. I was told that the procedure had gone well and I was soon to be transferred to my next ward for recovery.
When I got on the ward I was a bit dismayed to find I was stuck in a side room and I did miss the camaraderie that I had previously had on the assessment unit but this allowed me to rest. I had a couple of nights of rough levels of being overdoing things and expecting too much of myself.
Last night I was transferred once more to Ward 8 due to bed shortages and a need for a side room which I was really happy about as I moved into a bay with other people so I had people I could talk to again.
The staff have been truly amazing on all wards and in the theatre unit. I have to be honest I cannot remember any more than laying on the headed liner and the warmth on my back before they washed over the canular then nothing.
The ward staff were empathic, encouraging and caring about everyone and had time for everyone. They made us all feel special and important and on a difficult unit this is an exceptional workforce we are talking about.
What could be improved
This is where there is some failings
As a family carer of two people with high dependency needs through multiple disabilities I need to be able to be fit enough on discharge to care for myself and be strong enough to be able to limit my caring role. My own experience of adult social care (which is considerable) tells me that I will not be able to recuperate if I leave the hospital too early which could well result in a readmission for post operative care. It has taken me 14 months to get the operation I need to get it right for my discharge.
If I go home on day 2 post operative I fear that I will be dragged so far down into the caring role through emotional blackmail (unintentional) but a real fear that being dragged so low will leave me more prone to post operative complications than staying a couple of extra days to build my strength and allow my body to recharge to enable me to cope.
Going home on day 2 post operative would see me going home to a house on my own with no support or going to my mothers where I would be sleeping on a sofa.
I just get the impression that I am not being listened to about my home situation and this could result in an inappropriate discharge scenario
There needs to be more thought about how discharge is arranged around the needs of a carer as opposed to the needs of the person they care for.
The interworking of adult social care and reablement is not sufficiently mature enough to allow for informed decisions to be made without listening to the person who is the expert in this situation myself. It is not a situation or decision that can be made without paying due regard to the equality and human rights of the carer involved and a comparative risk assessment to the individual set up at home.