Unhappy with care from carers, hospital and social service

I refer to my mum in law as mum, she is 90 years this week, and she lives alone in London with carers visiting with minimum time three times a day . The care company has been an issue for sometime with standards and routines being poor and unhygienic . We as a family started to source our own carer as this company had been supplied by social services after numerous spells in a London hospital .

Mum became ill about three weeks ago and an ambulance was called through 999 and they took her to hospital A day later I had a call from the hospital advising she had contracted Covid 19 … and this where the story begins … My first concern was to contact the care company, as I believe this infection came from their carers as it would appear mum had so many different carers coming and going without masks at that time, and mum is house bound anyway and the carers could be spreading the virus to other elderly persons who they visit . I tried to contact them and warn them of the incident by phone, email and their emergency support number but no matter when I rang, no one answered the phones . Eventually after 4 DAYS of trying I spoke with someone and they confirmed that had received my email and would call me back by return ( I am the power of attorney for care and welfare ) so they have all my details to hand …that call never came??

We ourselves are overseas at the moment under full lockdown with no flights to or from the Uk so we are here for maybe months so cannot be by mums side.I also just had heart surgery here due to stress and artery restrictions, I already have three stents.

In the interim I had another call asking if mum deteriorated they said it would be unfair to try and resuscitate her as this may cause her further distress and pain and may damage her chest . I agreed with this and then just waited .

We called in from overseas regularly to ask of mums progress and were happy to hear she was responding to the antibiotics and doing well, this continued to the second week where we were told she was eating well and drinking, sitting in a chair and joking with staff, and this seemed to be the messages we got when we telephoned in to the ward . On one occasion I pressed for more info, only to be told …discuss this with other members of the family and the phone was put down . We put this down that perhaps the nurse was under pressure so we left it at that .

Three weeks passed and the next call was from social services who advised mum was fit and well and due for discharge … The previous company had stated to them they were no longer to offer care and was given the name of another company who could and was given all the details on a Sunday afternoon …I was taking these calls whilst in hospital .I asked if they could give me 48 hours to get someone to go to the house to turn on the heating and get some food in .

Monday came and another call came from another person at social services advising that mum was due to come out That afternoon and that the previous company mentioned on Sunday had now stated they couldn’t care for mum and this was mis information .
I stated that this was not enough notice as nothing was prepared at home and was unfair this had been dropped on me being 1500 miles away and also in hospital after surgery and requested this be put back for at least 24 hours .

Social services stated this was not possible and mum WAS coming out shortly that afternoon . I asked could they at least ensure a carer be there to meet her home , this was declined as she couldn’t guarantee that anyone would attend until the evening . Stressed, I made a frantic call to my sister in law who lives the other side of London who also is recovering from a full knee replacement operation . I don’t know how she got to mums home but she did but in pure pain and distress .Mum arrived by ambulance and my sister in law was shocked as to the condition of mum . She couldn’t walk, stand, in constant pain but she was just put dumped in a chair in the lounge and left .
A carer did arrive but it was evident she could not help mum out of the chair even with the help of my sister in law … but said she would be back to help mum into bed ( we assumed she was getting more help ) .That help or carer never came and mum had to sit in the chair in the doorway all night

The next day the same carer turned up and my sister in law berated her as to why she didn’t return? The reply was this wasn’t really her job and had extra work elsewhere to attend to …in the interim a physiotherapist turned up from the hospital and saw the condition of mum and her distress and she was that appalled dialled 999 but had to leave due to her workload …an ambulance turned up to assess mum and they agreed she was not in good health but was reluctant to return mum to hospital again due to the Covid 19 pressures , so they decided to move her from the chair to the bedroom , mum had soiled herself and it took two burley ambulance man to get her to the bed . Once there, I was again on the phone at the time when this all happened I asked them to look at mums feet which were black swollen and feet badly cracked and in obvious pain I also gave them the background to mums medical history which involves congenital heart failure asthma , and mobility issues AND DEMENTIA and there she lay ?
The carer was unable to change mum because she couldn’t move her neither could my sister in law either so at this stage we were in a real bad situation
In the meantime I had complained bitterly to social services and the hospital in discharging mum in such a poor state of health AND social services in their neglect of care and breakdown of care which in reality was a derelict of care and duty and not fit for purpose .I also forwarded this complaint to the hospital .
The following day mum was still laying in bed , in pain and wet from incontinence . By chance ( whether this was because of my complaints) a rehabilitation doctor came from the same hospital to ascertain what actually what was going on and to see Mum himself , when he did so HE rang 999 and an ambulance team as he felt mum had just been left in bed at the hospital with no other treatment and this was his words not ours. turned up again and assessed mum again . They concluded mum had a high temperature, low capacity in her left lung, and a chest infection Again I was able to speak with them by phone again giving details of mums medical history . They immediately took mum back to hospital
Several hours past and I had a call by a doctor from the hospital to get the story of what had gone on and said they would be in touch again . A few hours later I took another call from the doctor saying all the tests have been done and she was ok but she would be kept into hospital for further support for physio therapy .

Who are we to believe now …??

This type of non care has been an ongoing issue for the last year or more with no help from her local Gp that is a stones through from the house . I have been to the surgery personally myself to get GPs just to check mum …but they rarely attend and then offer ridiculous solutions that gas no bearing on her health issues …when I took over the role of health and welfare I found at least EIGHT carrier bags full of drugs mostly Tramadol and other high opiate drugs . I complained bitterly and returned all these bags back to a chemist for destruction . I got meds put into dossettec boxes on a weekly basis only but then found mum was hiding the meds rather than taking them …and so it goes on…we are all exhausted …mum is now still in hospital and have told the hospital we are at our tether and unable to give mum the care she rightly deserves and we have decided that mum will have to go into home care this is not ideal we know but we now need specialist help with not only her care but also for her dementia as she tells everyone we are trying to kill her and waiting for her to die …and that the clothes she wears and wheelchair are being stolen or exchanged for older wheelchairs … I explained this all by ringing from where we are to a UK radio station but was told that even in good times it’s hard to find reliable care .
I also raised the issue that mum should have had the care and protection from the first care company rather than transmitting Covid 19 to her, yet we are still being pursued by mums local council for £2000 for a service that is not only not fit for purpose , but could indeed cost her her life …IS THIS FAIR !!!
I want to pursue the complaint and take legal action as someone must have known mum was unstable and unfit to be discharged and also social services for neglect of duty and care and putting a 9o year old health and welfare at risk … Have I done everything, and is there anything else I can/ should do in this appalling situation …any valid suggestions welcome please.

what a horrendous situation.

As the Coronavirus Act has ripped up the rule book, I no longer know what to advise.

I suggest ringing;

Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602
Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.

or Carers UK helpline: Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm and can be called on 0808 808 7777.

for urgent advice.


Your mum should never have been discharged like that, she should have a had a full assessment and a home visit by an occupational therapist to see if your mum could cope at home and if extra help needed.

For the equipment to be supplied and fitted and an appropriate care plan devised, the care again put in place and organised before discharge.
Although you cannot insist on it again you can’t just discharge someone to an empty house with no food no heating , no one there but they do.
“She couldn’t walk, stand, in constant pain but she was just put dumped in a chair in the lounge and left” there should have been hoists etc arranged.
With hoisting there should have been 2 carers at each visit to hoist, no just one carer.

Probably your mum should not have been discharged home but into a care home, to get the high care and support needed.

This happens all the time the Hospital need the bed and once the care has been arranged , just discharge the patient as fit when they clearly aren’t fit.
Its an unsafe discharge, both that your mum couldn’t stand or walk and having a high temperature and chest infection.

The hospital just discharge and once out of hospital it is nothing to do with them, not their problem, wash their hands of it.

Did your mum have a discharge care plan, should be written and I think a copy goes to the GP?

Do you have any other documentation?

I am afraid it would be a long battle complaining, Do complain to both the Hospital and Social Services but it will be a long battle and you probably won’t get the answers you are looking for.

I would as well write to your MP, the more people write to their MP about bad Hospitals and bad care the better.

The first care agency should have had high standards of care, using gloves and washing hands but it is well known for carers having poor hygiene and inexperienced carers.

I would advise legal action but again will be a long battle , The NHS and social services were in crisis and stretched to the limits but now with Corona doubly stretched.

The £2000, the care wasn’t fit for purpose, wasn’t the right care, the complaint and ombudsman will sort that out.

There are good care companys but they are just so restricted by Social Services, they only provide the care as assessed but assessments are just carried out without any thought. You don’t get what you need you get whats available.

If you look through the internet there are places you can contact to help you complain:-

NHS complaints advocacy through your local Healthwatch.

Newspapers as well are interested in this sort of thing.

Just type in unsafe hospital discharge" into the internet and you will see places to help.

And again, dementia, mental health services should have been involved as well.

Another point is “safeguarding” again you could make a complaint about that, sending home with
inadequate help.


This is truly shocking.

Your mum should not have suffered in this way.

Nobody should be treated this way, let alone a frail 90 year old.

Totally unacceptable.

So dreadfully sorry. It’s appalling. Complaining to MP seems futile. Document everything you can. If there is a legal case to be had, and I don’t know there is as yet, Fletchers Solicitors is who I’m using for my late mother’s mistreatment.

We could really do with some guidance as to how the rights of the frail, infirm have changed since the passing of the coronavirus act. Carers UK have been mute so far and have not welcomed a legal advisor onto the forum to comment.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, Helen Walker. Please do!

Having read the Coronavirus Discharge Regulations (Bill,can you do a link please) I was dismayed.
There is no understanding at all of the needs of very frail, very elderly patients, especially when dementia is involved. It says very clearly that the patient will have “no choice”, yet says it will respect Human Rights. These two statements seem incompatible to me. To me the implications of this Act for all carers need addressing as a TOP PRIORITY.

Thank you to everyone who has posted …To Rosemary …I have dropped Fletchers a line thank you I tried to look at the ombudsman and follow the hospital complaints procedures but can you believe the ombudsman is no longer taking new complaints and the hospital lairs there is to be long delays to respond… hence the reason why I have taken Rosemarys advice in this instance . My wife and I in Madeira here can’t get back due to the really rigid lockdown by military and police here the airport is closed anyway with no flights at all from UK This we understand and agree with to prevent the spread here on the island but if We could get back I would be putting myself at further risk of Covid as I have just come out of hospital here with heart surgery … really angry with the whole damn situation
Sorry to rant … but. At least I have had my say and hopefully can relax a little and recuperate …all this going on whilst in hospital is not good for me or 5he family I am 68 with three stents already …Some elements of the NHS and social services are really not fit for purpose at this moment in time I am sorry to say … Thanks again everyone I will keep you updated .

I tried to look at the ombudsman and follow the hospital complaints procedures but can you believe the ombudsman is no longer taking new complaints and the hospital lairs there is to be long delays to respond

The now infamous Coronavirus Act again , Paul.

Covered more in the main HOSPITAL DISCHARGES thread … our name for it being THE DUMPSTER thread :


For what it’s worth , the thoughts of all forum posters are with you and your family … and low millions of others … during these unprecedented times.

Paul, thank you for telling us about mum’s really sad situation.
It is really important that this sort of inhumane treatment is highlighted, until we know, we can’t prod those who might be able to make a difference.

Paul, I don’t think there’s much to lose by contacting a solicitor. I’m really not sure what can be done, or the value of any potential case would be. Others here have more recent experience but I’m afraid this has all become completely new and rugged territory.

Someone in the hospital made a really bad decision. Google Covid 19 Hospital Discharge Procedure and you should be able to read what is supposed to happen, and clearly didn’t in mum’s case.

Thank you to all that have posted … As you can appreciate I have been sending out loads of emails
( and complaints ) in support of mums predicament and found “care campaign for the vulnerable” very helpful and supportive and gave us pointers as to what to do nexrt.
The family had already agreed we are at our tether trying to support mum at home ,but the facts are we are still in a strong lockdown by military and police due to Covid 19 and the airports are closed for antsy flights to and from the UK The sister in law lives the other side of London but is recovering after a full knee replacement so travel is not easy for her let alone trying to move mum.
We have had little support from her Gp , social services have been really poor especially in this last events and the carers don’t turn up . And she was returned to the hospital by a 999 call by two health care professionals from the hospital
It’s now been decided to place mum in a care/ nursing care when the time comes for to be discharged , this time I hope in better condition than before …iI also have made it clear that I will be making both social responsible and the hospital responsible for any mis management of mums care

This is not an ideal situation to be in … if she stays in hospital ( which they will want to push her out soon anyway} she is at further risk …or she comes back home and there is no one reliable to care for her …If we are lucky to get a decent home for her at least she is in with a fighting chance we hope having managed to get over Covid19 already fingers crossed …I will update you as things progress keep safe everyone …regards

It’s now been decided to place mum in a care/ nursing care when the time comes for to be discharged , this time I hope in better condition than before

Good luck with that proposal , Paul.

Many care / nursing homes are now refusing to take in any new residents , both through the threat of coronavirus , and ongoing disputes on the level of LA funding.


The Government are trying to enforce all homes to take in new residents.

As many are in private ownership , the only sure fire way is to nationalise them … and pick up all the problems as well ?

As I type , a Mexican stand off.

In normal times , AGE UK is highly recomended for all information on care / nursing homes … including the financing aspect :

Care homes | Information and Advice | Age UK

Care homes

Moving into a care home, or choosing one for a loved one, can feel daunting. We’re here to help you make the best choice for you, with tips on how to find a good care home and advice on paying for it.

Care homes provide accommodation and personal care for people who need extra support in their daily lives. Personal care might include help with eating, washing, dressing, going to the toilet or taking medication. Some care homes also offer social activities such as day trips or outings.

Care homes are sometimes referred to as residential homes. You might have heard the term ‘residential care’ used for the care they give people.

CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare a factor ???

Again , even if they were , these are not normal times …

I am dreadfully sorry to read about your experiences. It is trulty a terrible time for everyone. I would just suggest you hold no personal grudge against the carers, They are probably scared of going to work themselves, working with more than half their colleagues off sick or in isolation and struggling to cope with inadequate ppe. They will in all probability have passed it on unknowingly as it seems it can spread before symptoms become apparent.
It’s a good idea to keep all house keys in your poessession so if mum is returned she can only be discharged when you are present.
Sadly even many care home are down to half staff at the moment with sickness, fear and self isolation.

What an unpleasant situation! How’s your mom after a year?

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