"chaotic hospital discharge of father."

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

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Yet again, I find myself complaining because of the inability of the services and staff at North Tyneside hospital to listen and address basic needs. My father's discharge was done without considering his and my mother's safety, let alone his basic needs and dignity. It has also undone all the expensive work and effort that others had put in over the previous weeks, to sort out my father and have his and my mother's care coordinated. A little frail old lady with one crippled arm and arthritis in the other, was left to lift a frail old man, unable to help himself and get up out of bed or get out of his chair, because of severe arthritis, weakness and dizzyness. Carers were sent in, but they were not briefed properly about his needs, and wandered about, simply causing chaos and using up precious resources and distressing my mother and father to the extent my mother is breaking down under the strain and the doctor has had to be called for her. As for my father, , because of how these people work, the implications of explaining that he has very limited use of his hands and arms just doesn't seem to sink in. For instance, it means he has trouble getting food and drink to his mouth. But because they cannot translate that limited use of hands and arms and ability to grasp means trouble getting a hold of food and drink unless you spell it out in highlighted letters, (mind you, their organisation were repeatedly told he needs help regarding eating and drinking.) his carers did not get this message and have not been helping him to eat and drink, they've just been handing it to him, consequently, he's been losing even more weight and his water infection, which had not fully abate, flared, as did his chest infection. He got weaker and couldn't get up. I did attempt to get it sorted out, but was brushed off by the early discharge re enablement team. They just didn't want to hear. So, the doctor called in the emergency readmissions avoidance team. More assessments, more stress and exhausting interviews for all 3 of us, and still I'm having to get back to them to remind them that he needs to eat and drink and my mother cannot be left to lift him! Father and I decided he needed a rise and recline chair and an adjustable bed, which will help prevent serious injury to my mother as well as him, but, you guessed it, it has to be assessed and tick boxed! To be fair, the new assessors were more practical and considerate, but their box ticking has been extremely exhausting for all concerned and thus counterproductive, with lots of assurances but still not the appropriate help that is needed. The discharge team should have done this job in the first place before he left hospital. Once they didn't, one call from me should have brought in one assessment . The whole process is far too complicated and bureacratic for any sensible outcome, and not only causes further harm, but wastes precious resources.

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Responses

Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

I would firstly like to say how sorry I am to learn about your father’s recent experience of discharge from North Tyneside Hospital and understand the level of distress and stress that this has brought to you all as a family. It saddens me to hear that the experience has left you feeling that your father’s basic needs were not considered and that his dignity was compromised. I am also very concerned that you feel there was no consideration of parent’s safety; this must have resulted in a great deal of worry and stress for you. I am sorry. It is extremely important that a patient’s transition of care from hospital to home is centred around the needs of the patient. It is our expectation that families too will feel supported, listened to and consulted with, sadly it seems this has not to have been the case for you and your family. It is very difficult to be able to respond to you in a more personalised manner due to your feedback being anonymous. If you are happy, I would really like to be able to discuss the important issues and concerns you have raised. All feedback, good and bad plays an essential part in helping us improve our care and I feel your story could really inform the work we are currently doing to improve hospital discharge. Please contact me on annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk or 07876502899. Many thanks, Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience.

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