"suggestion for care of the elderly in Leeds"

About: St James's University Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My mother is 91 and was admitted to hospital at the end of march with probably severe constipation. Went via paramedics to A and E at St James at 9. 00 p. m and after being seen by doctors we left at 5. 00 a. m and she was then admitted soon after to ward 9 on Geldhow for monitoring.

She was then in that ward until a social worker met with us to discuss what should happen. This was a month later and she was sent to Reablement for a week and returned home to extra care support at the beginning of May.

First to say that all the nurses and support staff and the social worker and the staff at Amberton Ct were brilliant and could not be faulted.

However the crazy thing was the bed-blocking because arrangements to return home took so long.

I would humbly suggest that within 3 days of admission the Consultant needs to make an assessment of likely time stay in hospital and that the holistic social work/re-ablement team begin to investigate the home/domestic circumstances. That better liaison takes place between the ward staff and social work staff and the doctors with the family so that it is clearly understood what is going on. Two patients broke bones in falls on the ward whilst my mother was there... the staff could not be blamed but in my opinion it becomes a hazardous environment!

It maybe there is a role for a social investigator to explore the patients lifestyle, interests and hobbies and family situation as a background to social work intervention which is about finding the place to go and the approval for the funding of care etc.

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Response from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear davidj,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on our services. The issues you have identified are ones we recognise and we are undertaking a big programme of change on our wards for the elderly to do some of the things you have suggested.

Kind regards,

Juliette Cosgrove, Head of Nursing

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