25 April - Bed blocking. Barts Health NHS Trust haven’t a clue how to manage it
Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services Brad Smith and his Director Stuart Rowbotham
have often said how their collaboration with the NHS reduces bed blocking by
elderly people to one of the lowest in the country. There is no reason not to
accept their word for it and perhaps they could sell their expertise to Newham
University Hospital which is part of the Barts Health NHS Trust and in dire
need of an injection of common sense.
I mentioned ten days ago that my aunt, 99 in a month’s time, had broken her leg and it might curtail blogging for a while.
There could be no complaints about A&E on the day of admission (Saturday 13th April); the doctor told me they would have to pin the thigh bone back together the next day and warned me that if things didn’t go well she might die from infections.
But things did go well and 48 hours later another doctor told me what would happen over the next week or so.
She would be given at least a week of physiotherapy to get her moving as soon as possible, her house would be inspected to make sure it was suitable for her eventual return and Newham Social Services would have to be informed to arrange a care package. (†)
In the event she was given one or two days of physiotherapy before all the staff buzzed off for a four day Easter break. No house inspection was carried out and as far as I know Social Services were not informed, certainly I have had no contact with them.
The 26 bed ward appeared to be run by two nurses over Easter which proved to be quite dangerous when they were busy elsewhere while my aunt was trying to stand and head for the door on a broken leg.
At no time have I seen a doctor or a physiotherapist since A&E and the only accessible person with a title was the dietician who was concerned that there had been no bowel movement since the operation.
That changed while I was visiting yesterday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, in the absence of any information, I was guessing that my aunt would be discharged by this weekend so I made arrangements with the care company I have been employing for the past year to resume attendance from this coming Saturday but doubling their hours of attendance. My sister would also come up from Hampshire to be with her aunt full time for at least the weekend.
Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) the old lady got it into her head that I’d come to take her home and was making serious demands such that I could not just walk away. I told her I would be in trouble if I just took her away but that cut no ice.
I found the dietician, the only person to be located within 20 minutes, and asked him if he would put on his best authoritarian voice and tell my aunt that she could not leave with me. As soon as he began speaking I headed for the door. However two ladies in blue, one dark and one light blue, appeared and told me that she would be discharged today. (Thursday.)
I said that wasn’t possible because the carers’ rota had to adjusted and my sister would need time to make her own arrangements. In terms of office hours I was given no more than two hours notice to bring forward the care package because she was going home anyway. A near 99 year old who lives alone and who I have not yet seen on her feet because of the lack of physios and who is constipated and still needs a catheter was to be dumped and deserted in a home with no fresh food by uncaring medics.
I phoned my sister to see if she could come up today (Thursday) but she had her own hospital appointment in Basingstoke. I said to my sister that the three medical staff just a few feet away from me “did not have a single brain cell between them”. Knowing that they hadn’t got a key to get her into the house I left them to it.
Today, unknown to me, the vicar, the churchwarden and another friend all visited together. They got there just in time to see my aunt waiting at the exit for transport home. No formal request to me to get her home, no check with the care company that they could attend - I rechecked with them and they had heard nothing - no walking frame or commode provided and no key to get her into the house.
When the three visitors protested that she couldn’t be left to fend for herself they said her son - they can’t get anything right - would have to sit with her all night and as one of the visitors said, wipe her bum as necessary. Do they think a 99 year old spinster who never even had a boy friend in her younger days should be subjected to that sort of indignity?
A doctor then showed up to say she had been looking after the 99 year old (I had seen the name Dr. Pratt on the notice above the bed) but admitted when questioned she had been on a week’s leave. I am told that the church warden said after she left “Pratt by name, prat by nature” to which the vicar nodded agreement.
The churchwarden gave me a running commentary of these developments by phone and did a first rate job of telling the incompetents where they were going badly wrong. I didn’t want to phone them myself as I knew I would be telling them exactly what I thought of them and things might get heated, instead I asked my sister to phone.
She could only get hold of a nurse who was persuaded that discharge should be deferred until Saturday morning and she would ring back confirmation when she had it; but so far as midnight approaches; nothing.
The care company still believe that there can be no discharge until they confirm a care package is in place and no one has asked them to do that.
I still haven’t heard anything from the hospital directly except that there was a Withheld number call to my mobile while I was driving this afternoon, so it went unanswered. Maybe that would have been the first formal advice of the discharge that had been attempted several hours earlier.
I already had three complaints lined up for hospital management, now there’ll be four!
† The last thing I would want. Much better to pay for someone who really cares.
27 April - Barts Health NHS Trust. Totally incompetent, dangerous and liars too
When my sister
phoned Newham Hospital last Thursday afternoon to get my aunt’s discharge
deferred until today (Saturday) she was told that all the professionals involved
had passed her fit to live alone with care workers checking up on her
occasionally and that hospital staff had been phoning me all day without reply.
That is a lie. There were no missed calls on my mobile and my landline is equipped with a Truecall device that logs all activity to the web. If I pick up the phone, dial 0 and change my mind, it is logged. Similarly if there is an incoming caller who rings off for any reason, the time, their number (or withheld) and duration are logged as a permanent record. No such calls were logged while my aunt was in hospital. Not once did they call me.
I do not believe the comment about being fit to live alone either. There had been only one bowel movement in hospital and not once during my daily visits did I see her get out of her chair or bed unaided. She had to be lifted every time and as mentioned already the physiotherapists all took four days off for Easter.
My sister and I got ourselves up to East Ham from Hampshire by 11 a.m., both of us anticipating a long wait because the hospital was unable to give any clue about her likely discharge time.
At six minutes past eleven the hospital rang my mobile number to make sure we were ready to accept the patient because transport had been arranged.
At 13:39 they rang again, same message. Was I ready and waiting? They knew nothing of the earlier call. Internal communication is not Newham Hospital’s strong point.
Thirty minutes later an ambulance delivered a bewildered old lady to the threshold of her own front door with the aid of her own wheelchair. She was crying out in pain as she shuffled to her favourite chair and we looked in vain for any instructions on how she should be treated.
Could we give her paracetamol or had she just had some? Don’t know.
She needed the toilet and remembered how to use the chair lift but her 120 year old house has a step on the top landing between the stairs and the bathroom and bedroom. She cannot lift her leg. It took two people to carry her over the step. The care worker I had hired for the bedtime shift could not manage it alone.
If the staff at Newham Hospital were truly professional they would have discovered that their patient cannot lift her feet off the ground. If the promised Occupational Therapists had visited the house they may have realised that some adaptation was required but they couldn’t be bothered to take a look. It looks as though I will have to make another visit with some timber and a saw.
At 18:41 my mobile rang again. It was the courier company CityLink. The hospital had forgotten to give the medical supplies to their ambulance crew and the courier had been asked to collect them for delivery to my aunt’s address. Unfortunately their instructions did not say where they were to be collected from. Newham Hospital, incompetent to the very end.
I told them that my only contact point was Tayberry ward at Newham Hospital. Half an hour later a motorcyclist was at the door clutching 24 loaded syringes with instructions to administer them subcutaneously. How? Who by?
When I got home I found a message on my landline answerphone. It said “Hello sir, I am the District Nurse and I ” and then it cut off.
When my aunt broke her hip in 2015 (it was her leg this time) she was kept in a recuperation unit for seven weeks after the two in hospital before she was judged fit to go home, but Barts Health NHS Trust decided to close it.
Now they dump constipated immobile old ladies in their own home without doing any check on whether the house is in a good enough state or whether the family has made suitable arrangements. Professional? What a joke.
I will have to get a commode for the bedroom. Where do you get one of those at the weekend?
My sister goes on holidays frequently and will be away in just a couple of weeks time; what if I become unwell and cannot make the trip to East Ham every day? I’ve trialled a care home but the old lady spends her time packing a suitcase to go home and refuses to eat.
I had already doubled the care workers hours and in the short term there is 24/7 cover but it looks like two carers will be needed to negotiate that step.
I very much hope that Newham University Hospital is the worst one in the country, although Whipp’s Cross must surely be hard to beat, because if this is typical of the incompetence on daily display by hospitals then perhaps we should privatise the lot and sack the incompetents. Starting with Newham’s Geriatric Consultant, Doctor Pratt might be a good plan.
That review in full
I am horrified by the the way my elderly Father is being treated at this hospital (Thistle Ward). He was admitted on Thursday night, 27 October, as he was seriously ill and had a very bad infection, and we were Informed that he was developing septicaemia. In spite of his medical condition when we rushed to the hospital at about 2300hrs he was lucid and was glad to see his family. On Sunday when we visited him, he told us that he was lying in excrement for a long time and when he informed the night nurses to clean him they just did not bother. Another patient who was in the same bay as my Dad said that the two nurses were watching a horror movie and shouted at my Father! What kind of nursing staff does Newham employ - I feel you are scraping the barrel when it comes to recruiting your nurses.
My Father hasn’t had a decent meal since he has been in hospital as he keeps throwing up. When I mentioned this to the doctor today (1st Nov), they informed me that they saw him eating, but having three small spoonfuls of Weetabix is not a proper meal. Since he has been in hospital he has not had any lunch or dinner. In spite of not eating he has diarrhoea frequently and the doctors need to investigate why this is happening.
This evening (2 Nov) my Father was transferred to a side room and am very concerned that they will just forget about him and he will be covered in excrement as there are no other patients who can raise the alarm. My sister visited him this evening and found he had no nappy or blankets on him. My Father went into hospital with a fully functioning brain but lack of liquid, food and care has reduced him to a shadow of his former self. Please look after your frail patients.
As no one is listening to the family’s concerns, I feel the next step is his MP. I did speak to PALS at the hospital today but I had the feeling that it was a waste of time.
I am so worried that my Father might be treated badly by the unprofessional nursing staff in the side room where there are witnesses. Such a disgusting hospital for not caring.
Thistle and Tayberry wards are adjacent geriatric units.
29 April - NHS envy of the world? Not when run by Barts Health NHS Trust
It seems that the East Ham visits will have to be lengthy and daily in the
short term at least so there is little chance of Bexley Blogging. Regular
readers may wish to give these hospital bulletins a miss but they are placed
here to create a permanent record of the incompetence of the management and
medical staff of Newham University Hospital all the way down to ward staff
including the Sister who I would describe as callous.
When 24 syringes were delivered by courier without instructions a phone call to the hospital revealed that a District Nurse would visit on Saturday and Sunday. None did.
This morning (Monday) the receptionist at the General Practitioner’s surgery provided a phone number for the District Nurse. A quick call revealed that he already had his instructions from Newham Hospital and would be visiting quite soon.
He administered the injection but no one had told him there was a leg wound to be dressed. Perhaps worse is that the discharge notes told him that two injections were required but only one type had been supplied. To cut a long story short I collected the missing syringes this afternoon and the District Nurse returned this evening to do the necessary.
The Nurse wanted to know where the physiotherapists were and I explained that none had been seen since before Easter. Maybe as a result my aunt’s foot is now bent inwards by about 30 degrees. She cannot lift it and is in constant pain except when lying in bed. Because of that she went back to bed mid-morning today and slept for five hours.
The District Nurse said a commode should have been supplied as although the old lady has twice shuffled to the toilet in the middle of the night she cannot get off it, it is too low. No Occupation Health house inspection has been carried out, hence the commode problem and the failure to address the landing step issue.
He was concerned about bed sores now that the patient has been kicked out of a vibrating hospital bed far too early. He said it was a clear case of “a failed discharge” by Newham Hospital and went on to say there are far too many of them. He would make an appropriate complaint and request the missing items.
Social Services should have been advised to arrange rehabilitation. Absolutely none of those things have been done. The ward Sister told me last Wednesday that my aunt had been “passed as fit by all the professionals” and ready to be left to live alone as before the leg break. Total nonsense.
If I discover the Sister’s name I will add it to this report but presumably the policy is set by Discharge Consultant Charlotte Pratt, GMC Number 3083318.
Within the last few minutes my aunt’s GP has emailed his apologies and also uses the phrase “failed discharge”. He is going to raise his concerns with the Clinical Commissioning Group. Meanwhile the family is having to pay for almost constant attendance to cover Tony Halton’s failure.
2 May - The state of the National Health Service today
It’s a day to drop everything and rush over to East Ham again. I must come to an arrangement with the care company to see if they can increase cover further, my sister cannot be expected to be on 24/7 care watch for ever.
I suspect that we cannot go on much longer without engaging a full time care
home despite my aunt’s insistence that she wants to be in the home where she has
been since being bombed in Victoria Dock Road in 1941.
There has been some progress towards mitigating Newham Hospital’s total failure to prepare for the discharge of a frail old lady just a month short of her 99th birthday. The District Nurse who declared the incident a failed discharge has been visiting since last Monday and dealt with the bedsores. Not so good is that some of the supplied syringes will be past their expiry date before they are due to be used.
Yesterday a Physiotherapist came for the first time and said that my aunt should not be at home on weekly physiotherapy but in a rehab. centre for daily attention. He said he would make an urgent application but had no idea if space would be available.
Also yesterday a commode was delivered (a day later than promised) but there has been no contact with Social Services. I regard that as a good thing. They were no help back in 2015 after my aunt had been in hospital and rehab. for nine weeks.
The General Practitioner also declared Newham Hospital’s discharge to be “failed” and he is so concerned by the last week’s events that he is going to raise it with the Clinical Commissioning Group.
Everyone the District Nurse and I have persuaded to take an interest in the situation have been very nice people who have done their best to mitigate Newham Hospital’s failure to make any arrangements at all.
The ward Sister - the one in dark blue - assured me that all the professionals in her hospital had passed my aunt, who was constipated and catheterised until discharge and required lifting from bed to chair, fit for return home. Is Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) who signs off geriatric discharges still in employment?
My big mistake was allowing my sister to reach a compromise date for discharge with the ward staff. They wanted her discharge to be eleven days after the leg break was repaired and 13 days was agreed. We should have just walked away.
3 May (Part 1) - The state of the NHS in Newham
There are several minor Bexley items that should be reported but battling
with Newham’s Health services is taking up most of my time.
It would appear that the only way of attracting anyone’s attention is via these blogs and Twitter, the health authorities read them but as far as I can see do nothing.
Yesterday was not a good day. The District Nurse, it’s been a different one each day, said she could not apply dressings because she didn’t have any and if we wanted the bed blisters to be attended to we must buy the dressings ourselves.
The physiotherapist had recommended an urgent referral to the rehab unit - Fothergill ward would you believe - so we chased him up by phone. Someone said it was on the notes that my aunt should be taken to the gym!
The night was disturbed by my aunt moaning in pain and if I had been there instead of my sister I would have called an ambulance.
A more insistent phone call to the physio’s office this morning persuaded him to call back. He said only the GP can make a referral to Fothergill ward. The GP has been supportive from the outset and that is not what he has been saying.
By Sunday my sister will have given nine days of 24/7 care and, like me, is no spring chicken, she cannot do it any more. She will have to go home on Sunday.
When I take over full time I shall hire a taxi and drop my aunt into A&E. “All the professionals say she is fit to go home [with carers dropping in daily]”. And that was more than a week ago. What sort of professionals are they? And what was Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) thinking of when she signed the discharge papers with no support services whatsoever set up in advance?
Earlier today a message from someone claiming to be a contractor to the NHS said that the NHS is awash with cash but it is too partial to massive bribes, e.g. a £40,000 scanner that comes with free holidays is chosen over another at half the price. It would not surprise me one bit if it is true.
3 May (Part 3) - Round in circles in Newham
Another day of little progress in Newham.
I was asked to make a formal complaint which could only repeat what has been written here. I have been told that it will be sent to the Complaints Service. I was naively hoping for some urgent action.
A physiotherapist said that only a GP could make a referral to the rehabilitation ward, the doctor appears not to agree.
A later phone call said that the rehab. ward sister didn't want my aunt in her ward anyway, said Social Services should be looking after her.
A call to Social Services said they were not offering any help because my aunt pays for her own care - but only four visits a day which is already costing more than her total income after Council Tax and heating costs.
Her savings would be all gone in a fortnight if there was a requirement to pay for 24/7 care but Social Services said they were not prepared to help and gave an NHS number to ring.
No help available there either and there was a circular reference back to the first number at Social Services.
It’s the Bank Holiday weekend so it is unlikely that there will be any urgent action. I’ve been trying to persuade my sister that she cannot spend the rest of her life as an unpaid carer but she is reluctant to do anything dramatic as I would.
If the NHS is unwilling to provide the rehabilitation promised less than three weeks ago the only solution will be a care home where she can sit all day largely uncared for. We have seen that coming for a long time but it cannot be arranged in a weekend when precipitated by a broken leg. There is no cash to pay for it
Maybe it will all be academic anyway. My aunt who used to be a perpetual grazer on cake and sweets and her favourite marmalade sandwiches is eating very little, getting weaker by the day and says she wants to die.
6 May (Part 1) - The cretins who run Newham take a break
both the hospital and Social Services told my sister that no re-enablement
package or indeed anything else had been put in place to help my aunt’s recovery
because she was already privately paying for help they all waltzed off on
holiday leaving my sister in despair of what to do next.
No medication supplied, no District Nurse to administer it. No physiotherapy, no occupational therapy. If that is not negligent what is?
The reason the care has been privately funded is because Newham’s Social Services are so appallingly bad.
There is now a dreadful Catch 22. If we are to find a care home for my aunt and it is away from Newham where the word care appears to be a dirty one it will have to be back in Hampshire where my sister lives. But how can she set about selecting a suitable home when she has to be in London on 24/7 duty?
I think I should take over the role as she is going to drop from exhaustion soon and has a foreign holiday booked for a week’s time but the only thing we seem to agree on now is that her phone call to Tayberry ward agreeing a two day delay to the discharge was a very big mistake. We should have just walked away and if anyone from Newham is reading this please take that lesson on board. Get a written assurance from the appalling Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) that all the support services have been put in place before allowing any old person to be discharged from Tayberry or Thistle wards.
A physiotherapist turned up unexpectedly on Saturday morning and spent best part of an hour with my aunt but the main message seemed to be that no one in Newham cares about anything but their budget and the chances of them doing anything useful is close to zero.
Meanwhile all I have been able to do is read the websites of various medical negligence lawyers.
Thanks to the many readers who have offered advice and those who have retweeted messages to tens of thousands of their followers. It is essential that the management and senior medical staff of Newham Hospital are shamed mercilessly.
P.S. The complaints email for Newham Hospital (palsandcomplaints@) printed on their leaflet is another dud. Three days after I used it, their server - not mine - returned my message appended with “delivery temporarily suspended”. I suppose they have gone on holiday too. Newham Hospital can do absolutely nothing right.
6 May (Part 2) - The grinning incompetents from Newham Hospital
Things are coming to a head. My sister is in her seventies and like most
septuagenarians is not totally free of medical ailments. She has just realised
that she will run out of vital medication tomorrow and must therefore return to Hampshire.
I had suggested she did so by Sunday but she felt she ought to wait until the holiday is over; now it is crunch time.
It is what you get when the top priority for a team of uncaring medical incompetents is to shunt vulnerable old people out of hospital before they are fit and then compounding their misjudgment by not bothering to ensure a care package of some sort is in place.
Meanwhile these self satisfied individuals are engaged in a frenzy of back slapping to convince themselves they are doing a good job. I am pretty sure the lady on the left below is the one who gave me two working hours to put extra care in place but didn’t think that medication might be required or the District Nurse and various therapists should be informed.
I suspect I am wrong to assume that this is a one off mistake because if it was they might be trying to make amends for their error. Instead they swan off on holiday with both telephone (*) and email in-boxes conveniently full.
One must assume that the zero care dished out to my aunt is the norm to which they aspire.
* My sister tried to call Newham Social Services (not the NHS) on Friday afternoon but an announcement said their mail box was full.
7 May - It’s the day of reckoning
I am going to East Ham and I may be away for some time. It’s a good job all is quiet on the Bexley front.
This morning my sister rang Newham Social Services to plead for help so that she could get home to Hampshire to arrange a care home there for my frail and demented aunt and to seek attention for her own medical problem.
Newham Social Services told her that they will not provide any help because on previous occasions the family has funded private care. That was because Newham’s services proved to be totally inadequate and uncaring. That pot of money is near exhausted.
When my sister asked to be put through to someone more senior, Newham Social Services put the phone down on her.
My sister is now going home necessitating my trip to Newham.
I am not sure whether to call an ambulance, the old lady is feeling dizzy and still constipated just as she was when kicked out of hospital, and simply walk away from the situation or somehow deliver her to A&E and do the same thing.
This is a total failure of Barts Health NHS Trust and Newham Council.
If anyone can think of any better ideas I would be pleased to hear them.
P.S. Occupational Health has phoned to say they will do a house assessment next Thursday, twelve days after discharge and two weeks after the intended discharge date. The assessment should have been done before hospital discharge to ensure it was safe. By Thursday it will be too late, no one will be at home to arrange admission.
Who was it who assured me that all the professionals had passed everything as OK? Who signed the discharge papers? Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318).
P.S. Again. Just been told my aunt has not got dementia. Yesterday she was asking for her mother and when I walked in she was so glad to see her father. He died in 1933. Just call me Alfred!
8 May - It’s Desperation Day plus one in Newham
So here I am in East Ham trying to write a blog using Notepad while on 24/7
care duties with little by way of food and being coeliac can't easily order it
in. Do I really want fifty quid’s worth of gluten free bread from Tescos?
A senior medic who may share my opinion of Newham General Hospital managed to get one ball rolling yesterday morning and the first Social Worker to be seen since this episode began a month ago showed up at my aunt's house. I arrived there just in time.
My opinion of Social Workers has not always been high but this chap, Jude, was good. Maybe it’s because he agreed absolutely with my criticisms of Newham Hospital and he lives in Abbey Wood.
He could barely believe what he was reading in the hospital notes; as far as I could tell their complete failure to follow through their own promises is on the record and a damning indictment of the competence of Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) et al.
But apparently Social Services and the NHS don’t speak to each other in Newham and whilst my aunt should have been sent for re-enablement (NHS I believe) the NHS is unembarrassed by their failure to make any preparations for discharge. Not just the obvious like no physiotherapists but they even forgot the medication pack. Nevertheless they remain intransigent and refuse any retrospective action. The best the man from Abbey Wood could offer was a respite home which could be anywhere but he recognised that speed was of the essence. Later today maybe.
With my sister now at home she can get on with arranging a longer term care home.
As ill luck would have it my aunt still has the constipation she had when discharged - one more reason she was not fit to be sent out - and there are signs that a powerful laxative (Laxido) which was in the hospital medical pack when it eventually arrived is beginning to have some effect. Up and down to the loo all night. I have not had to clean that sort of mess since my son was in nappies 47 years ago.
If the Social Worker does not get my aunt a place somewhere today it is definitely a taxi to A&E.
Me a dumper of old ladies? But what else is left to do? The Social Worker said that all the things my sister and I have done and have still to do should have been done for us or helped with before discharge. The NHS is simply not fit for purpose.
9 May - Promises promises. Broken promises
It looks like there will be a gaping hole in my photographic record of the
regeneration of Gayton and Wilton Roads. One should already have been resurfaced
and the other is scheduled to be done tonight. Wilton Road closes from 7 p.m. to
2 a.m. tonight if I remember correctly. I may still be stuck in East Ham
living off the remants of gluten free fruit loaf and eggs.
The Newham Social Services promises made on Tuesday came to nothing. I was left a number to call to make enquiries but it was busy all day long. Going back to my BT days, it was an equipment busy tone not the familar number engaged signal. Somone had left the office and turned all the telecoms equipment off.
I called the main Adults’ Services number and asked them to pass a message to the Social Worker and that department was so incompetent that they arranged an urgent District Nurse visit instead. Useless wasters.
The only bright spot is that a Doctor I had not heard of before phoned to tell me she had received a letter to say my aunt was approved for respite care and afterwards her regular GP who has not seen her for several months past called to say he would visit this morning.
And Teresa Pearce MP called me with advice. Good old Teresa, always there to help.
If it had not been for the doctor’s intended visit I would probably have carried out my plan to call an ambulance during the night.
There has been a mental deterioration and there can be no question of living alone again but the Catch 22 of not being able to sort out a care home while on 24/7 caring duties in East Ham remains.
From mid afternoon yesterday until 04:30 this morning there was frequent shouting out and no sensible conversation. Aunt just called for her Mum (deceased 1976) and when I was comforting her, “please don’t leave me Daddy”. (Deceased 1933.)
At 04:30 it all went quiet and I thought she had gone but it started all over again 20 minutes later. Right now I am just ignoring it, my presence makes no difference.
The utter prat known as Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) signed her fit enough to live alone. Why are such people kept in employment? - at four different hospitals apparently!
Both Newham Hospital and the local Clinical Commissioning Group have separately invited me to meet them and tell them of my concerns. I don't think there is anything to say that they cannot read here. I am quite pleased that if you Google Dr. Charlotte Pratt, Bonkers is now on the first page. I hope it blights her career for ever.
I am now an enthusiast for privatising the NHS, I don't think they are short of money, management positions and not a few others are filled with incompetents from top to bottom. That is the real problem.
After the doctor visits this morning I will activate my ambulance plan.
10 May - It’s still no go in Newham
Ten health related visitors knocked on the door yesterday. Yes ten; but not
the one I was waiting for. Someone to take the old lady to the respite centre.
A very small amount of hope had been held out that it would happen last Tuesday but it didn't happen on Wednesday or Thursday either. Various phone calls and visitors have convinced me that Newham’s systems are split into so many small sections that communication between them is limited and time consuming.
A further assessment for the already approved respite care is due later this morning.
That visit is one reason why I decided not to walk out on the situation last night even though the GP said I would be entirely justified in calling an ambulance and disappearing. That is in practice quite a difficult step to take even though the cretinous Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318) said my aunt is entirely fit to be left alone. (I checked the papers again yesterday to make sure I was not libelling the fool.)
However another reason for not leaving yesterday evening is that Dr. Pratt and her ilk work eight hour shifts and then take two off. By not making any prior arrangements for discharge - not so much as a packet of pills - they condemn people like me to three eight hour shifts a day for days on end.
I judged I was too sleepy to make the train journey home and safely drive back with more supplies and maybe cleaner. Right now I stink of Dettol and possibly worse.
I have asked most of the visiting health professionals whether my aunt’s case is a one off serious mistake or if Newham Hospital does it to everyone. Some replies were more guarded than others but it would appear to be fairly common. One of them told me that medics locally have a very rude word for Newham University Hospital but wouldn’t tell me what it is. A second visitor confirmed it.
I have been invited to a meeting at Newham Hospital. They made it publicly on Twitter. What sort of idiot does that? Did they think that they would counter the bad publicity by demonstrating how approachable they are?
How do they think someone on 24/7 nursing duties can drop everything and go to meet them?
And they have overlooked one thing. When I do eventually meet them I want to have a medical negligence solicitor by my side.
If by chance you see me passing through Abbey Wood station later today, steer clear. Dettol and cr*p is not a nice combination and some has splashed on to my last remaining clothes.
11 May - The end of an era. 78 years!
A difficult two weeks has come to an end. After being quite literally dumped
on her doorstep with nothing but her clothes and handbag my aunt of very nearly
99 years is in a respite home funded by Newham Council for four weeks while I
look for something more permanent.
Everyone, maybe you too, has found it difficult to believe that the hospital did and provided nothing whatever, not even the medication was sent out with her. Some of it came later by courier and when that package proved to be deficient I fetched the remainder myself.
As a result of Newham University Hospital’s failures the first injections were made two days late and only family intervention produced a physiotherapist. Last Thursday, very nearly three weeks after the femur was repaired and as a result of that neglect my aunt’s in-turning right foot is never likely to be straight again.
Some of the people masquerading as nurses don’t seem very bright to me. Trying to engage my aunt in conversation I said “tell the nurse where you were born”. She had forgotten so I chipped in “Rangoon, Burma”.
So I added “it is called Myanmar now”. Still blank.
“It’s just east of India, it is all much the same place really.” It got me nowhere, she simply didn’t seem to recognise that India was a country. It reminded me of the time when a senior Newham Social Worker asked me what a Hampshire was. She’d never heard of it, didn’t know it was a County.
After being half promised respite care by last Tuesday, then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and with nothing happening, things were getting a bit desperate. Little sleep, very low on my gluten free diet, no shower and no functioning bath - a long story!
Fortunately friends were operating in the background. The appointed Social Worker, a regular in Wilton Road, Abbey Wood apparently, was banging his head against a brick wall, the prospect of a care home had been kicked into the middle of next week.
“I can’t understand it” he said. “You saw me making phone calls, I tried to get her in last Tuesday” he added apologetically, and so 3 p.m. Friday came and went and a long and smelly weekend was in prospect.
Then the Social Worker came back all excited, he had made a breakthrough and this morning the old lady was taken to her temporary home. Someone in Bexley should offer that man a local job.
What I now know happened and I presume was critical is that the Independent Councillor for Thamesmead East, the 25 year old Danny Hackett had metaphorically kicked the arse of the Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services in Newham and she in turn jumped on someone. I know because I have seen the emails.
So come the next election in Thamesmead, vote for Danny folks, you won’t get that sort of service from anyone else.
So at last a happy, well more satisfactory anyway, ending. She didn’t want to go; 78 years in the same house is a long time and it was all rather upsetting. “Please don’t leave me Daddy.”
Another friend was Teresa Pearce, I need hardly add the initials MP do I? She kept in touch by text message. When I said I was finally ready for the journey home both tired and smelly she offered to come and pick me up in her car. I declined but as I trudged my way along Fendyke Road from the station my slightly wobbly knees were suggesting I had made the wrong decision.
So that’s about it, back to something like normal tomorrow. Has anything been happening in Bexley?
Apologies if the off topic tales were not to your liking, there was frequently little else to do while away. As some will know I engaged in a Twitter war with Newham Hospital and researched their Tweets which were quite often bragging exchanges between staff members about how they were so good at throwing people out of hospital fast.
They must have realised what I was doing because the Chief Executive of the Hospital and the Tayberry Ward manager deleted their Twitter Accounts.
Next port of call, a medical negligence lawyer. How is it that we have so many very stupid people running this country? You only have to look to Westminster to see how it comes from the top. Sorry Teresa, there is always the exception to prove the rule.
When things have calmed down these blogs will be combined into a single page with suitable metadata etc. to provide a fitting memorial to Dr. Charlotte Pratt (GMC Number 3083318), the geriatric consultant who signed off my aunt as fit to live alone. Presumably it is ‘who cares, she is 99 let her die’. People like Charlotte Pratt should not be let anywhere near any position of power.
Thanks are however due to the concerned GP, the lady at the Clinical Commissioning Group who managed to interest Social Services in the case after they had refused and put the phone down on us twice. Also the ladies from Highland Care UK (Heigham Road, East Ham) who were absolutely fantastic. Every old lady should have a Mohima to look after her.
18 May - Back home
I’ve just realised I didn’t finish the saga of my aunt and the care home, so in brief
She hated it just as she did when last put in one. I didn’t like it either. The inmates mainly said nothing so were no company for her and there were some over-amorous old men on the prowl - and one woman which I discovered for myself!
On my first visit my aunt told me she thought she was lost and would never see anyone she knew again. “It is a miracle you managed to find me.”
She was so obviously miserable that another plan was called for. I spent two days reorganising her house. Various small items of furniture to the dump and a bedroom downstairs.
I got her home again on Thursday afternoon. She has not objected to the new layout but it will take time for her to get used to it. The confusion remains, some of it would be funny in different circumstances.
When I last phoned she knew who I was but said I shouldn’t visit because she had to go to work. I persuaded her it was Saturday and she need not go. By then she thought I was her employer. Goodness knows how this will end. Maybe some people dump their old folk in a home and try to forget them, it’s probably the only way they can get their life back. But hard to do. Probably impossible for me.
Newham Council said they would fund the care home for four weeks to give me time to make alternative arrangements. She was in the home for five nights. Yesterday Newham Council notified me of the forthcoming bill.
Pretty much nothing goes right in Newham.