Discharge after coronavirus- advice much appreciated

My father is terminally ill and has been in hospital since the beginning of December. He is currently struggling to eat, drink or speak and is doubly incontinent - when he was admitted he was walking (with assistance) but now needs the assistance of two to even be moved in bed. Unfortunately on 23 March he tested positive for the Coronavirus. He was placed in isolation (they lost his hearing aids so am chasing replacements). Last week I was told he was fit for discharge - the warden assisted flat he was. living in asked for another test before he comes home (they accommodate 17 other elderly vulnerable patients and parts of the living arrangements are communal - such as the laundrette). A second test was taken on Saturday and unfortunately I was informed on Sunday has again come back as positive (not surprising really as infection control in the hospital is awful).

The Ward Manager, who is very difficult - I appreciate that they are under a lot of pressure but her level of aggression is unnecessary and unhelpful, when informing me of his positive result shouted at me that he was blocking a bed and needs to go home. I tried to say to her that I would be happy for him to come and stay with me temporarily ( he is just not being cared for in the hospital and I feel that I am letting him down by leaving him there) but she simply wouldn’t let me speak.

If he were to come and stay with me I would also need help from carers to move him (I am not sure any care agencies will take positive patients?) and ideally the same care package as he had on admission (he was accepted for Fast Track CHC prior to the coronavirus but the CCG wanted him to have less hours than he had prior to admission from the local authority- we were in the process of appealing but everything went on hold following the virus). I was planning to put all of this in an email to the chief exec (the ward manager and discharge co-ordinator are simply impossible to speak to) but I do have worries about how we will manage on our own.

Ideally I would like him to come and live with me temporarily whilst all this madness is going on but will need help- to wash, dress., move him etc (he has to go to the hospital three times a week for dialysis). I think I would need the carers in place before he was discharged, commitment from the hospital about his dialysis treatment and patient transport, help with pain and incontinence management and ideally an air mattress. I simply can’t find some of the products that the hospital use to care for him online. I have no idea how to source them - I don’t want to be told the district nurses will get everything and then nothing happens. Does this all sound like I am being too difficult? Am I being unreasonable?

Hi Faye.

No thanks to the recent Coronavirus Act , you will need expert advice here.
All the hallmarks of an unsafe discharge even before said Act was passed.

If the ball game was difficult before said Act , seems almost impossible now.

Care / nursing homes … some are refusing new admissions , the Government is trying to force them to admit new patients
… a Mexican stand off ?

For what it’s worth , our number one priority for Carers UK to advise us all on.

AGE UK … I can think of no other supporting organisation that would come close :


( PPE … mention that to them , they may well have sources other than the NHS. )

Carers UK Advice Team … handy from the carer angle :


( Now working longer hours with the deluge of problems coming in. )

Bottom line … a head versus heart argument … are you really sure you could cope ???
As usual , let us know how things pan out … it is vital for all readers to know just what is going on out there.

Hi Faye, I had been wondering how your dad was. I am truly sorry and dismayed. It’s all such new territory. Please think very carefully regarding your health and income ramifications. xxx


I am truly shocked that the hospital are wanting to discharge him with the huge amount of care that would be needed.

And also with the fact he is still testing positive to Corona.

Will any care agencies agree to look after someone who has Corona. I it would be a good idea to check this out before you agree with the discharge.

Just as shocking is the aggressive attitude you are being met with.

Do please consider your own health and wellbeing too.

How are things now?

Faye, having just watched the daily update on TV, I suggest that the only way out of your dilemma is to contact a national newspaper and let them sort it out. You can’t do any more.

Faye Really really sorry to read of the situation you are facing … we are in similar circumstances but your situation is worse . Can I ask that you cut and past what you have wrote and then send an email to Care campaign for the Vulnerable …you can google their website and send it to the attention of Jayne Conner … we spoke with he4 today and felt the conversation helped us as to what to do next
I really hope they can guide you better than I could at the moment , it’s most distressing , but keep strong ok and importantly keep safe regards Paul

Looks like an excellent recommendation , Paul :


One more link to add to AGE UK & Carers UK Advice Team , Faye.

Thank you so much for your responses. I will do as you suggest.

In the meantime I have just had a phonemail from my fathers landlords - the hospital had called them (dont know where they got the number from) and told them that my father has the coronavirus and they want to discharge him today. The landlords have gone into meltdown so Ive just had to spend the last hour reassuring them that they won’t send him home (I’ve got the keys), we have enough stress on without the discharge team adding to it…

As I recall, your father lives in almshouse accommodation and we’ve learned before that almshouses operate differently to other landlords. I’d recommend contacting Age UK or Shelter to seek advice as to their obligations to have your dad return to his home.

My fear is that as soon as you allow him to be discharged to live with you on a temporary basis, no one will be in any hurry to have him and youll be left to care for him, perhaps alone.