"Discharge of my husband"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Vascular surgery

(as a relative),

My husband has been in hospital for vascular surgery. We have no complaints especially when he was well cared for in Trafalgar Ward.

However after 24 hours on Phoenix it was decided to send him home despite having a wound down the inside of his right leg and being diagnosed with a DVT. He is 76 years old and I am approaching 70 (fast). However to get him from the ward I had to walk to the main entrance, obtain a wheelchair, take him to our car, install him inside, with great difficulty as he couldn't lift his leg. Then take another long walk to return the wheelchair.

Why cannot a few chairs be chained perhaps in the atrium below the wards at that end of the hospital?

Once home I then had an awful struggle to get him into our home, upstairs to bed, to the toilet etc. He has a great deal of pain and I will now have to speak to the GP to see what can be done.

I have read the leaflet 'Planning your discharge from hospital'. This reads as a wonderful well planned system. In practice it doesn't work.

I also understand the need to empty beds ready for another patient, but I do wonder if his consultant had not been on holiday would he have been discharged so soon?

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Responses

Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

We are sorry to hear about your experience around your husband’s discharge after surgery – more should have been done to assist you and we are sorry it wasn’t. Controlling and managing wheelchairs is a challenge to ensure there are always sufficient numbers for use. Unfortunately, if they were placed in an unsupervised location such as the Atrium, they would disappear very quickly and not be returned. However, your point about the long walk to get and return a wheelchair from some wards is very valid and you should have been assisted in obtaining a wheelchair and taking your husband to the car. Please do contact me to talk about this in more detail so we can improve our service and ensure this doesn’t happen again. Thank you for bringing the matter to our attention. Samantha Goldberg Associate Director of Operations - Surgery, Anaesthesia & Theatres Tel: 01634 830000, x6718 Graham Morgan Head of Estates and Facilities

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