"Discharge, My 80 year old mother ..."

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

(as a relative),

What could be improved


My 80 year old mother called my sister who lives outside Leeds at 10.30am on Friday to say she was to be discharged that day. The previous afternoon both my sister and I visited my mother and saw members of staff and no mention was made that she could possibly be discharged the following day. Luckily I was able to travel up to assist with her discharge. My mother had been in hospital for more than 10 days, consequently had no fresh food in her home, she didn’t have a front door key with her and had no money as per hospital guidelines. But still the hospital told me that they would have gone ahead to discharge her in an ambulance if no family member was with her. How? I was told that the OT team had made an assessment of her home, this would have been very difficult, as my mother didn’t have her front door key.

How would my mother have purchased groceries, I was told she could have taken a taxi, without money that would have been difficult.

When I enquired when was the discharge of my mother finalized I was told the usual platitude that they had been planning from day 1 her discharge, unfortunately they didn’t choose to include the patients family in their planning discussions.

The hospital staff had no idea if my mother was fit to go home it was a case of get rid of her and lets see if she sinks or swims. When questioned the staff said it had nothing to do with the fact that the following Monday was a Bank Holiday however if they couldn’t discharge her on the Friday they would have had to wait until the following Tuesday. I noticed that at least 4 other women on my mothers ward were being discharged all at the same time.

Story from NHS Choices

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