"Occupational therapy for adult care in Hertfordshire"
About: Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust Welwyn Garden City AL7 1BW
Posted by Willing but disabled by the system (as ),
Mum developed a pressure sore, adult care services provided a mattress but the only size they had did not fit Mum’s bed. The result was mum could no longer get herself onto the centre of the bed, but had to sleep right on the edge and so started to fall out.
I contacted the occupational threrapy service for assessment of her needs to enable her to get in and out of bed safely and to help with leg raising (oedema due to heart and circulation problems) and back raised (breathing probs due to COPD).
The OT came and referred Mum to local authority OT for bed assessment. care coordinator came round with what appeared to me to be a bit of string on a stick (leg lifter) to solve the problem. I quickly realised that, due to Mum’s lack of strength and coordination difficulties following stroke, the bit of string on a stick was not going to do it and left to discuss with the OTs.
In the meantime we contacted the British Legion to see if there is any possibility of their help to fund a bed to meet mum’s needs. They allocate a case worker within the week, however, he needs to see an OT assessment on which to build his case. I go back to the named care coordinator who had said I could get back to her at any time to discover, because she came out with the bit of string on a stick, the case is now closed with the only conclusion ‘no equipment provided’.
The only way we can re-access the system to get the professional assessment we originally asked for is for me to spend nearly an hour on the phone with the call centre giving them all the information that is taken each time we have to contact them and then to wait 8 weeks for the OT assessment that should, I believe, have been carried out two months ago.
When I ask for the name of a head of OT Service as I would like to discuss the fact that the duty of care to provide an assessment was not delivered and my concerns about access to the service. The call centre are happy to give me the name, but are not allowed to give me a contact number, I then return to the health OT to check that she did indeed refer for a bed assessment rather than a limited bit of unhelpful kit. Get through to a phone message that says ‘the single point of access is unavailable’!