"Poor Communication over Care of Elderly Relative"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

My 87 year old Aunt was admitted to hospital following a second fall in her home. She spent from 10.30am - 7.30pm in A&E before a bed was found for her. She was put on Wakely Ward where she was reasonably well looked after. Over the course of two weeks she had various tests including for early dementia. Eventually it was decided she could go home if a care package was put in place. My parents who have visited her everyday (themselves in their late 70s) waited at the Aunts house while all equipment was delivered. The next day when they went in to visit they were told she had been assessed by someone else and she could not go home but would need residential care. Everyone agreed this including my aunt and forms were filled out. A couple of days later my Aunt was moved to Sapphire Ward. When she got there none of the staff knew anything about her going into a residential home. Also it was found that an undesirable "friend" had visited and given alcohol to my Aunt! This friend had also convinced my Aunt to say she wanted to go home. When my parents next visited (last Friday) they were met by a nurse/care worker saying she could go home. When my parents said about the previous assessment stating she should go into a home she said she would review the case and meet with my parents the following Monday. My parents then received a call this morning from said nurse/carer (Monday) to say they were sending my Aunt home! My parents said they said they were supposed to be having a meeting to discuss my Aunts care and the nurse said she did not recall this and she had to obey my Aunts wishes. I cannot believe that the hospital is discharging a frail 87 year old that can barely walk to the bathroom on a ward (she can only do this with assistance) back to her own home with the bathroom and bedroom upstairs (with a narrow staircase). We can all see what will happen - she will fall again and we will have to go through the whole process again. What we are most angry about is the lack of communication between the staff as no one seems to know what action others had taken and the lack of communication between the hospital and next of kin (my parents). It has been awful for everyone concerned.

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Responses

Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your experiences and I am sorry that you have been disappointed with the care that your Aunt has received. Please contact me directly so that I can investigate your concerns. Sandie Howland Matron Adult Medicine Bleep 891

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