An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

                  78 year-old woman ejected from A&E at 0200   

Her carer refused - she was still in hospital five weeks later

                                                                           Not website author's wife above.  

                                                                          Written in December 2104 

Times rounded to whole hours.  

One purpose of this page is to determine why an A & E group of medics would decide that  a 78 year-old sick woman would be told to go home at 2 in the morning.   That decision was met with refusal and she did not come out of hospital  until five weeks later and had had an operation.  It proves that this was, technically, an unsafe discharge.

There is no complaint about the long waits.  Inevitable in such a busy A & E.

  1. Replacement right hip/thigh-bone in 1995.  Pain started several months ago and had reached crisis point on Weds 5 Nov when our GP was called.  Xray requested.  Phoned a few days later and was to be on Tues 11 Nov. Arrived and she couldn't get on the platform.  Were told that papers to be sent to the main hospital.  We will receive a letter.  So much for the urgency of the situation.

  2. Her mobility, by then, was virtually zero.  However, we carried  on waiting.

  3. On Thurs 13 Nov, it was evident by the extra pain that the hip joint and in her right foot had worsened.  I phoned the surgery and a GP said call an ambulance.  That was while holding on to TDH as best I could to stop her falling out of bed.   Five ambulance men arrived.  

  4. On arrival c 1900 at the main hospital, there were dozens of people and they extended to being on ambulance trolleys in corridors.  In conversation, I find out that there's a Walk-in Xray service.  Too much for the staff member locally in No. 1 to tell us.  When an Xray took place later, there he was, unperturbed. 

  5. We moved up the queue about 2030 and more paperwork.  Transfer to hospital trolley - an ambulance man not associated with us grabbed her feet and heaved over.  TDH screamed.

  6. Around 2100, we were seen by A&E nursing staff.  About 2200, a doctor came.

  7. Next stop, Xray.

  8. About 2300, news that her pelvic socket had a small crack in it.

  9. A lot of repetitive questions by everyone who came - "What's the problem?", "How long have you had it?"       ad infinitum

  10. 0200 - Dr came to say that TDH does not need to stay overnight and that we can go.  I said no.  When asked why, I said that my wife is in no state to go anywhere but to a ward.  Dr disagreed so I repeated that we were going nowhere.  Furthermore,  I would need to go home fifteen miles, collect a wheelchair, return etc..  On arrival home, I would need to take the chair out and back it down a steep slope in the dark.   

  11. The fact that TDH had been through an ordeal hadn't registered.  That she is 78 and shouldn't be expected to go through more hadn't registered.  On my way home it was a monsoon.  If we had returned at such unGodly hour, that would have been the last straw.

  12. I made the point that I am not trained to lift or move TDH and where did the Dr think I was going to find specialist help at this time of the night.  I explained that earlier in the saga at home, I had moved her right leg too far and she screamed with pain.  

  13. The Dr announced that there were no beds and we must go, and disappeared.

  14. 0300 saw the Dr return to say we could stay in A & E overnight.  After 30 mins I lay on the floor using the bag of clothes etc as a pillow.  Another 30 mins later and the cold had reached my bad back so I got up.  I was making a statement but nobody came to see it.  

  15. 0400 - "A bed has been found."  Installed by 0430 and I left after asking when the ward round took place.  Was advised 0800.                                                                                                                                                                                                It still remains that a lie was told about no beds earlier.  

  16. Before leaving home the next day - Friday. I wrote various notes to be delivered to people due to contact me.

  17. It's still Friday 17 Nov.  0745 I arrived at hospital.  0815 a surgeon came to ask questions.

  18. Stayed with TDH all day meanwhile making phone calls to those in 31 plus the care company.and to the dealer where we had bought a special wheelchair car.    All these calls involved waiting, ring-backs by me. and a lot of wasted time.

  19. During the day we were visited by the ward Dr who explained the immediate future, and an OT who left halfway through the assessment.

  20. TDH needs pureed food plus gravy.  The latter item was found to be a major strategic problem.  Ditto the right consistency of porridge.  I left a note attached to the clipboard at the end of the bed on Saturday.  

  21. All this leaves me in despair over the service.  We trot out the same info every time a new staff member comes to find out about TDH.  See 17.  Why can't a summary be attached to the clipboard?  I added a summary to same not that anything came of it. 

  22. Saturday 16 Nov     The ward staff are overworked but remain cheerful. However, mistakes shouldn't be made.  A nurse asked to return TDH to an upright position tugged the sheet from under her.  Yet more screams. 

  23. Sunday 16 Nov - see 39.  I am visiting within the announced times.  Family members are also of great help. The porridge problem has not improved so TDH had to last to lunch-time with no food.  She was feeling groggy and queasy and wanted to go back to bed at 1100.  Her routine starts so early in the morning it's no surprise.  However, she had been left till 0900 today and had missed breakfast.  A nurse had made the uneaten porridge.  All the staff are so kind.

  24.  Family has decided to accept the pace at which everything works.  It extends the proper rest and care TDH needs.  

  25. Update 27 Nov - My wife has had an operation and may be moved to the local cottage hospital. 
  27. More info - December 2014 update here

pagetop here      for pasting  TDH Health etc - 16 Nov - a summary here

                                          December 2014 update here