"Appalling discharge arrangements from Royal Gwent Hospital"

About: Royal Gwent Hospital / General Medicine Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

(as a relative),

My 78 year old mother was admitted on Boxing Day having collapsed at home with severe leg pain.

When she was finally admitted to the ward B4 west medical, they were trying all kinds of different tablets to help with the pain. She was having physio of how to use a zimmer frame & crutches, which she is having trouble using due to her other ailments that she has.

I spoke the doctor a few days ago & asked for advice on how to get help at home & was told that I would have to get in touch with social services & her doctor to chase up getting adaptations for her flat etc. I also asked when they thought she would be sent home & they couldn’t foresee it being this week. I also asked that any more information would they please contact me as I have 2 jobs & need to get any provisions in place to have time off. They assured me this would happen.

The next day my mother phoned me from the hospital to tell me she might be going home that day or Friday! Then she was told it would be Thursday, then she was told it wouldn’t be Thursday because they hadn’t got her medication ready. She was then told that it would be Friday. We had terrible snow on Friday & she was told it wouldn’t be likely that she would be sent home due to the weather & conditions on the road.

That afternoon they decided to send her home by ambulance with no warm clothing & did not give her any chance to contact me. For 'health & safety reasons' they could not wheel her into the property, which has 12 concrete steps to get down to so my mother was made to walk, in her pyjamas, in the snow, to her home.

She cannot use her right leg properly due to the pain & weakness of it & she had to walk.

At 1730 she rang me at home, who was stuck at home & couldn’t get out, in floods of tears, clearly distressed by the ordeal. Her pyjamas were soaking wet & she was cold to say the least.

This is an absolute atrocious way to treat an elderly lady who has worked very hard all her life.

This should not have happened & I will be making a severe complaint to the relevant authorities.

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Responses

Response from Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Hello Maudi,

We noticed your comments on the Patient Opinion website about your mother’s recent experience at the Royal Gwent Hospital. Aneurin Bevan Health Board is concerned to hear about the issues that you have raised and would like to convey our apologies personally for the level of support and information that you received during such traumatic circumstances. We value all feedback received and would like to discuss your experience with you to see if we can offer any help to you and also to find out further information in order to avoid any repeat occurrences with other patients in the future.

If you could contact us to let us know your telephone number or a direct email address, we will get one of our Putting Things Right Team to contact you directly to discuss your concerns.

Thank you very much.

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Update posted by Maudi (a relative)

I have sent an e-mail of complaint & a letter on 22/01/13 & until today I have had no response.

Both my email addresses were on the email, including my office number.

I do not wish to divulge personal information on this site.

Response from Julian Hayman, Internal Communications Manager, Communications, Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Thank you for your response Maudi. Could you email me - sharon.harford@wales.nhs.uk with details of who you sent the complaint to and I will follow this up for you.

Regards,

Sharon

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