Some People

Just wondered if anyone else struggles with some nurses? I have just had a phonecall from a nurse at our local hospital complaining that my father didn’t attend an appointment (memory clinic) - she was very abrupt and frankly rude. I reminded her that I had phoned days ago to say that he couldn’t attend as he had another hospital appointment that day. Also in order to get him there for 9am we would have to get carers to arrive at 5am so he was ready for patient transport at 7am. This was just not possible. Unfortunately the clinic only works on a Friday and say they need him to be there from 9am to complete all their tests - so we are stuck. He attends all his other appointments - but this clinic is just inflexible over dates and times.

The nurse just didn’t want to hear that and said he had to attend . I said it was physically impossible - she spoke over me saying I had to make it possible. That I should take times off work to do so. If I cared I would etc…

I find the attitude of some health professionals really difficult. They just don’t seem to respect carers at all. They have no idea how hard our lives are and how much we sacrifice for those we love. If only they could spend 24hours in our shoes. I know it will never happen but wouldn’t it be great if Carers UK or another group did a campaign to educate health and social practitioners about the value of carers - we are not the enemy rather a resource that helps take the burden off them!

Sorry for letting off steam but its exhausting just constantly being criticised and told off.

If he needs to be there by 9am the solution is simple, they need to admit him the night before.

We had the same problem with father in law, needed a colostomy to confirm that he had bowel cancer. He was a widower, but at the last minute we were told he needed to have “someone” with him overnight! He came to stay with us, which was a nightmare, for various reasons. When I complained to the ward when we went to pick him up, they said that if he had said, then they could have booked the very first appointment of the day for him, then he would have been OK to go back to his home in the evening. Grrr!

The following day, mum was due to have a carpal tunnel op at a different hospital. She told me that she would be in overnight and then care would be arranged on discharge.

The day after this op we were going away with our son with learning difficulties, so I just rang mum’s hospital to make sure they understood the situation.
Somehow during her pre op assessment they hadn’t noticed she walked very badly, totally reliant on her Zimmer frame, hadn’t thought that this wouldn’t be possible with a sling?!?!
The sister said it was a day ward only, that I MUST look after her, ignoring what I said completely. I got my own back. Made a formal complaint to the CEO’s office about the way she spoke to me, she was admitted then emergency carers arranged.
(The joys of a multiple carer!!)

Hi Faye,

I can’t see any patients who rely on care workers and hospital transport finding it easy to get there for 9 a.m. Your Dad and you can’t be the first. Where are the reasonable adjustments? Is there a memory clinic held anywhere else that he could attend instead? I would complain to PALS in the first instance.

Unfortunately, those working in the NHS, social care, DWP etc often fail to appreciate the situation of carers and carees and the juggling carers have to do,


Thank you ever so much for your responses. I’m sorry for the rant! - no one else to talk to…


I meant to ask whether any of you have ever made a complaint to the PHSO or LGO? if so did you all have a final decision letter before you went to them? I know their website says you should have one but I’m finding it difficult to get one and we need to get the issues resolved (my father is terminally ill so we dont have forever).

I have found the form a little too concise for the issues I want to raise and was planning to send supplementary evidence but am unsure if they will accept (their helpings have-not been very helpful).

Have any of you ever succeeded in getting complaints upheld and if so any tips? Thank you

Yes, me. M’s case is about to be reopened.

I’m afraid any decision is unlikely to be made in time for dad, it’s 6-8 weeks just to get the case allocated to an investigating officer. Is dad’s local councillor involved, or someone on the Adult Services Committee? Maybe contact them to kick officers where it hurts. Have you written a formal complaint already? Involved the Director of Social Services?

Thanks. I did notice that they said it can take up to 26 weeks to get a response.

My fathers MP wrote to the council and we received a response from the ADSS . It wasn’t very helpful ad contained lots of inaccuracies. Given the time constraints and that the ADSS has responded but not resolved matters I wondered if we would still still have to go through the full complaints procedure before we could go to the Ombudsman. I phoned their helpline but they are not very helpful - could only repeat their normal process and not discuss whether there were any circumstances (ie the person is dying) were a quicker approach could be taken.

Sorry I just need to offload.

My father is being discharged home today. The hospital have just called to say that they don’t have the medication to send him home with so I will need to go and pick it up first thing tomorrow. I told the nurse I am meant to be in work and as I don’t drive it will cost (round trip) £60. The nurse was very abrupt and said if I don’t do it he won’t have his medication. If I cared for him I would do it (not the first time that has been said). I started crying - it’s just so hard trying to please everyone. She said I seemed stressed and should consider giving up work. I explained that wasn’t possible. I will sort out the medication (sorry for ranting). I just wish there was a bit more understanding of how hard caring is and to be a bit kindly to those who are trying to do their best. Sorry for ranting- it can just be so hard at times! I know this is a minor thing but sometimes the little things send me o we the edge.

I was hoping that that would be covered by “Unsafe Discharge” but it appears not.

It only says " If you’re given any medication to take home, you’ll usually be given enough for the following 7 days. The letter to your GP will include information about your medication."

Notwithstanding that, I think you have good grounds for a complaint about the way in which you’ve been treated, there are links at the bottom of the discharge rules as to how to go about that.

When my caree was discharged without their medication, needed the bed as usual, a local taxi firm delivered the medication in the evening.
I had a sneaky look in the taxi, quite a lot of medication to be delivered.
It is not your fault if the medication was not ready, that is the hospitals job to have the medication in time.
I live near the hospital, every day I see NHS vans in and out of the hospital, they have transport you don’t.
We have out of hours doctors cars, there are community care teams, there are district nurses travelling around every day.
Why can’t they deliver it?

Earlier this year I had a medication problem.

My cared for person’s prescribed medication was low and needed replenishing. I contacted the pharmacy at the hospital and told them why we needed a refill of his medication pronto. Of course I would have to deal with several issues whilst trying to request it.

It took me several days of emails but eventually we got his prescription meds. And I even complained afterwards too. That helped! Seriously it made all the difference. Try complaining about this.

Who requested his medication in the first place? Maybe they can help sort things out on your behalf. In the run up to Christmas, do you really need this additional stress? Send them a strongly worded but polite email or call back on Monday to tell them. Good luck.

Thank you so much for your responses and support. It means such a lot to know that I’m not alone.

I asked the hospital if they could deliver it but they said no. They said they were going to discharge my father regardless. I called PALs and they spoke to the ward. They in turn spoke to the chemist who agreed to deliver it. My father is now finally home and hopefully will go to sleep soon. He’s very disorientated but I think that happens after sepsis and heart ops. They have put him on lots of new medication so will have to see how things go.

I noted that the discharge notification, completed two days ago, said that the daughter would go and collect the medication. It would be nice if someone had spoken to me beforehand. Oh well it’s done now - onto the next battle. Thanks you for all your help and support it really does mean such a lot. Being a carer can be so lonely - thank you for being there.