"Hospital discharge"

About: Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as a relative),

My ninety- two year old mother required a half-hip replacement after a fall. The occupational therapist told me recently that they were referring mum to the STARS team for care at home as she lives alone. The referral would happen on the monday shorty after the conversation and I was told that this meant she was unlikely to be discharged until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest.

When I arrived to visit, mum was not in her bay nor was the bed there. I asked after her at the nurses' station but no-one knew who she was or where she was. Eventually, someone piped up that she had been moved from ward 16 to ward 10.

On ward 10 I asked why was she had been moved and was it preparatory to discharge. No-one knew and no-one could answer about the referral to STARS, no-one knew when she could home. However, when I saw mum she immediately told me that she was being discharged that day with a care visit arranged for that night. I had not been informed and so had brought no coat, shoes or bag for mum's belongings - this on a day when it rained torrential all day.

Mum believed that I had been phoned and I did not complain as I thought that perhaps there was a message on the answer machine and as I had left early, I had missed it - there was no message.

Luckily I had a spare coat with me. Mum received her medicines after a wait of several hours and the nurse said goodbye with no thought as to how I was to get her to the car park. I had to ask for a wheelchair. As we were wheeling along the corridor, a nurse called to mum and asked if she had had her injection that day. She hadn't so she was whipped into a side room, given the injection while still wearing a raincoat.

Outside it was pouring with rain and I had to manhandle my mother into the car alone - the nurse stayed inside in the dry. Mum had been given no instruction on how to enter or exit a car safely, following the hip operation. Once home, still in torrential rain, mum had to walk from car to house in her slippers. The whole experience was a nightmare.

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Response from Hilary Butterworth, IPIQ Officer, Patient Services, NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dear smmorgan

I am very sorry to read about your mothers experience and your concerns surrounding her transfer and hospital discharge. NHS Dumfries and Galloway take all concerns and complaints seriously and are fully committed to reviewing the facts relating to all incidents.

I understand a complaint has already been raised with the Patient Services team at Dumfries Hospital. Respecting patients dignity and confidentiality relating to their clinical and personal information is paramount. The Patients Services team are currently awaiting written permission from your mother to discuss her affairs in order to investigate the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident.

I hope your mother is continuing to improve after her hip replacement

kind regards

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