I am sorry to trouble you all again but would be very grateful for your advice and experience.
As some of you may recall my fathers arm was broken by Patient Transport Services when they were bringing him home from dialysis in December of last year. The transport firm have admitted negligence and a personal injury claim is underway. On 15 January we were told that my father was medically fit for discharge but would need double handed care. However he wasn’t actually discharged until 10 June whilst Social Services struggled and resisted providing double handed care/night care vs him being put in a home.My father and I were clear from the outset that he wanted to go home. During his time as an inpatient he did not receive the dialysis care he was prescribed and his overall treatment was poor (left in bed for twenty plus hours a day, hearing aids lost, told to toilet in the bed as there were not enough staff to help him etc). It was hellish and we are still feeling the impact now.
I put in a complaint to the hospital in June and today we finally received the report. I was shocked. Whilst they do admit my father wasn’t given dialysis treatment as he should have been (not enough porters to transport him to the unit etc ) they dispute that they said he was medically fit to be discharged. This is despite us attending six different discharge meetings and the Ward Manager and Matron telling us (me , my father and mother family members) daily that he was medically fit for discharge but the Council had not sorted out the care package. They claim they had no records of any of the discharge meetings (they admit they did happen but say the details of what was discussed were not recorded on their system) and the limited paperwork we were sent (orthopaedic reports etc ) that said he was fit for discharge have been dismissed out of hand: apparently they were overtaken by subsequent events etc , even though at no stage did anyone say this to us. The consistent message was your father is medically fit for discharge - he was receiving no other treatment for 160 days than the dialysis which he has as an outpatient. We repeatedly asked for things in writing ( minutes of meetings etc ) but were refused.
I simply can’t believe what the report says. I can only assume that the Matron, Discharge Nurse and Ward Manager have felt they can’t be honest in their accounts of what has happened. But I am in shock and don’t really know what to do. I feel so angry about what happened to us and the consequence of which we are still living with daily. The report is clearly not right and contains lots of factual inaccuracies ( for example they claim my fathers care was increased to 4x daily visits when he has 2 or 3 visits a day depending on whether he is on dialysis or not ). I don’t feel it is right that anyone, no matter how old, should be treated how my father was- they broke his arm, left him in hospital to decline ,didn’t give him the treatment he had been proscribed and didn’t take the action that they could under the Care Act to ensure the Council helped with his discharge. If we hadn’t threatened legal action I dread to think what would have happened- he’d probably still be there or dead.
I don’t know whether to now take the case to the Ombudsman or just to leave it. I know taking further action will be a lot of work, I’m exhausted and as they claim to have hardly any records or notes it will be difficult to evidence (I’ve only got my own records and emails to the council) but I feel like my confidence in the integrity and honesty of NHS staff has well and truly been dashed and I need to address it. Every day they spoke to my father, me and our family, and said he was medically fit for discharge - now they are denying that. How can they? I know it will be difficult and its just me vs a huge institution but I don’t feel anyone should be treated like my father was. Lessons should be learnt - 6months in hospital for a broken arm is ridiculous. What would you do? Should I just give up?
No one is ever a trouble on this forum. Don’t ever feel that Faye.
I can only say that I fought for justice for my late husband. One was to do with Barclay card.I did feel a sense of achievement and justice for him, even though he had passed away and with his dementia he wouldn’t have know anyway. The other was to do with the nurses at the home, and once again I had a sense of it all being worthwhile, even though it wore me out.
You will know in a few days whether you have the emotional strength to carry on. Your own health is very important.
Would be good though if you can prove that they have lied and been incompetent.
This is only my take on it, and others will be along with more practical advice
If you do decide to continue, highlighting is good advice. I found a yellow highlighter pen good as print or pen shows up well .
Hope you have slept as well as possible and can at least have some time for yourself today.
Dear Faye, Don’t apologize for your post. I am extremely sorry that you and your dad have been treated this way. Why they are saying this when he was obviously discharged is unfathomable. But the hospital is clearly in disarray.
As others have said, try to look after yourself. Rest up for a couple of days and put the letter under your pillow. Be kind to yourself.
I shall continue with my response using a word processing program and copy/paste into this forum. I dont want my thoughts to be lost mid-stream!!!
You may recall that I looked after my 95 year-old mother. She was taken by ambulance for a '‘quick look over’ and that hospital stay, and others to follow, lead to her downfall. She was not taken care of properly, not sent home with physical therapy, sent home essentially bed bound. Got a DVT and, due to her condition, was denied cancer treatment and died of endometrial cancer.
I see some similarities between your dad and my mum, and between your and my strength and determination to represent our parent.
In my case, I saw grounds for legal action as soon as mum got the “provoked DVT” and contacted a no win no fee medical negligence solicitor via patientclaimline.com. The case was subsequently strengthened by the death certificate!
When, and if you decide to fight hard for your dad (I think you will), you need to contact the solicitor you’re dealing with for your dad’s broken arm, or another medical negligence lawyer.
I contacted a solicitor through the internet, and they phoned me for some initial details. After a little paperwork, they have taken it from there, they acquired all the medical records, their medics reviewed the records and are proceeding from there. Your Carers UK post lays out the situation very well, and the fact that you now have the hospital’s official written response to your written complaint I think is all that is needed to interest a solicitor to consider taking on your case, if you decide to go that route.
However distressing the hospital letter is, it is clear evidence of your dad’s inadequate and substandard treatment.
Please rest a while, gather your strength and fight on! Please, keep in touch because many here are willing to support you.
I too have had major problems with the hospital, bad care for my caree, and the complaints replys are full of errors and contradict what was said earlier in the report, and statements that are simply incorrect.
Hospitals are supposed to be caring, treat patients with dignity, the things I have seen and these are fully trained professionals, but they are not.
I too would like to take things further but have I the strength to carry on?
There is a service that helps and support with NHS complaints, contact your local Healthwatch.