Far from the end of the story …
Following up on my elderly Dad’s care after being admitted to Broomfield from his flat and being discharged to a care home. On the last note it took 8.5 hours round trip to remove his leg plaster from the care home. Unfortunately since I last wrote to you here at WhereIsTheCare my Dad passed away but this is far from the end of the story.
When he first entered Broomfield he always had a clean bowl because he was always spitting up muck from his chest and this got constantly worse until he came out of xxxxxxxxxxxxx care home 10 weeks later where he was sent from Broomfield. I take it that no-one bothered to check his medical records as he was being monitored by a consultant at Springfield Medical Centre (NHS) for this. It got to the stage where the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx care home he was in temporarily was telling me he was not eating and didn’t want to take his tablets. Also that his talking was laboured. I assumed that he was just beginning to give up and did not want to eat and I had several conversations with his physio about this.
He was discharged to the care home I fought to get him moved to from the above one, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx care home, as I was concerned about his care and this new home was worried about his condition. Within 12 hours they found out that it was not that he didn’t want to eat or take his tablets. He could not. They pureed his food and crushed his tablets, he was a lot happier.
They were so concerned they called out the GP immediately. I will highlight what was found a bit later.
I had a holiday booked in soon after admission to this new home, and hoped Dad was going to be well cared for. They called me on holiday and said he had also come in with a wee infection, and because of having combination paper-like skin, iron tablets and constipation, he had a large split up his back passage also. It was decided with Dad’s physio that he definitely didn’t want to go back home to his flat. I again stated that I would need some financial help until I sold his flat.
I did get a couple of calls from Social Services, they were trying to tell me that Dad couldn’t have any short-term funding and I was supposed to be the one to pay the fees not my Dad. This was a problem as I had just paid for my daughter’s wedding. I then put the whole system into chaos when I said Dad can pay for the wedding so I can pay for his care. I actually took 6.5 hours over 3 days to try and get some sense. Any questions I asked of them I couldn’t get an answer.
I was told there was not enough money in Dad’s estate, approx. £200,000, which would not last his lifetime. So considering he was a very poorly, frail 93 year old and at one point they did not think would even leave the first care home he was discharged to. They would not give me an answer to this question and this was key to the argument.
Another idea someone tried to tell me that Dad could go into a Council home until the money was sorted and I had sold the flat and so not go to the home I wanted him to move to. What planet do they live on? The home I wanted him to go to was 5 mins from me and all the Council homes were miles away. They said the total they are prepared to pay per week is £475. I was not asking them pay, only help me whilst I settled the flat. Eventually I won and got Dad into the home I wanted near to me and I never did get a phone call to sort the financial assessment having been agreed by social service and the home he was being moved from.
I thought everything was sorted for Dad to be moved to the new home by ambulance in July 2014 being organised by social services and the previous home. But no!!! The ambulance service refused to take him! You can’t imagine the stress and the screaming down the phone and the situation was only saved by WhereIsTheCare’s social service’s contact.
We are getting to the end now, Dad was moved and checked in the new home, he still had a wee infection so had not been checked the other end or followed up. The most serious of all he was diagnosed with Aspiration. I was in discussion with the GP what action we needed to take. If we go back to earlier in this story, this is what the doctor in Springfield was treating Dad for before his admittance to Broomfield in the first place! The coughing and spitting was the original reason why he was to see the consultant in the first place, the follow through of this consultation did not happen because Dad fell and broke his knee. No-one noticed he had Aspiration.
* The new home could not get his medical notes from the previous home or the name of the GP even with joint consent.
* Do not rely on family to support you, this help may not come. I have a brother who promised to look after Dad whilst I was on holiday, he did not visit or talk to him, except for one short visit 5 days after I went, he knew about the infections and split in his back passage and didn’t tell me, I would have just come home if I had known how serious it was.
Dad is now at peace, as he wished, but it has been a very lonely fight for his loved ones.