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Hospital distances

(23 Posts)
Dee1012 Tue 05-Dec-23 12:23:56

My brother rang me last night to tell me his elderly friend had been admitted to hospital after a fall....thankfully it wasn't serious but due to ongoing health issues, they have decided to keep her in.
We have 3 hospitals all fairly local with good public transport links and another 2 larger hospitals a little further but again, public transport is quite good.
When my brother called to check visiting times, he was told she'd been transferred to a hospital quite a distance away.

Due to her personal circumstances, she has very few family members - none can drive and public transport to this location is very limited, doesn't really fit with visiting times and for most the journey would be between 90 / 120 minutes. A cab one way - £35.00 approx.
She's quite distressed at being alone.
I've arranged for a friend to step in and she'll do a few trips but AIBU to think surely some consideration should be given to the circumstances of patients in cases like this.
If it was specialised treatment, I could understand.

OldFrill Tue 05-Dec-23 12:31:43

Contact the hospital and ask if they have volunteer visitors. Does she and friends have access to phone/screen so they could talk over the net?
I don't think with the state of the NHS and availability of beds that this kind of situation can be helped. My nearest hospital is about the same distance with no nearer options.

Theexwife Tue 05-Dec-23 12:39:41

She wouldn't have been moved for no reason, either staffing levels or specialist help could be the reason. The patients' care is the priority, not the visitors convenience. Good idea to ask about volunteer visitors.

welbeck Tue 05-Dec-23 12:53:59

this often happens.
i don't think any consideration is given to visiting.
someone near me whose mother was admitted to an elderly care mental health unit spent £35 each way to visit her, took nearly an hour by mini-cab.
cheaper by buses, but 3 or 4 changes, and nearly 3 hours.
one day she got there and was told to go away, as mother was having some procedure. as soon as she got home was phoned by unit, telling her to come and take laundry to do for mother.
it's v wearing.

SueDonim Tue 05-Dec-23 13:12:22

My dd is a medic and works across various hospitals in her Trust. There are subtle differences within hospitals as to their purpose, which are not obvious to our untrained eyes, and patients are sent to whichever is best for their needs - or possibly to whichever hospital has a bed.

My dd tells me that in her area in November they were already seeing January levels of illness and admissions. I think beds could be almost as rare as hens teeth this winter. sad

Shelflife Tue 05-Dec-23 15:18:26

Not very convenient, I recognize that. However ……........ she is in hospital receiving appropriate care. That is the priority!!!!

M0nica Tue 05-Dec-23 15:35:00

There is physical care and mental care. What price fixing a physical problem if the patient has deteriorating mental health because she is in a hospital where no one can visit her.

Volunteer visiters have their use but they are in addition to friends and relations visiting, not instead of.

Caleo Tue 05-Dec-23 16:30:28

Maybe a hospital chaplain of any religion will visit her whatever beliefs she has. I don't know but I have the impression they all have liberal attitudes to their work

M0nica Tue 05-Dec-23 16:31:43

yes, but what patients need is visits from friends and families, not unknown others.

OldFrill Wed 06-Dec-23 14:32:59

Lucky she's got a bed frankly.

silverlining48 Wed 06-Dec-23 14:41:45

Presumably if it’s just a fall the friend won’t be in hospital all that long. There is huge press on hospitals so they won’t keep her longer than needed.

FindingNemo15 Wed 06-Dec-23 14:59:40

My DH was discharged to a care home 30 miles away. They did not consult me and only told when he had arrived. This was supposed to be temporary - 5.5 months later they moved him nearer - now 20 miles away. Yet again without consulting me.

silverlining48 Wed 06-Dec-23 15:27:02

That doesn’t sound right nemo. Though it did happen to my mum a few years ago. I visited her every day so no excuse not telling me.
Your dh should have a care manager/social worker who if you havnt already, you should contact. They should be liaising with you.
Ask at the home where your dh is.

Nannarose Wed 06-Dec-23 16:15:56

Sadly, this is what happens in the name of 'efficiency'. There is so little spare capacity that ridiculous situations like this arise.

I am so sad for your brother and his friend. as a nurse I know how much social contact helps patients to heal.

If you are fit and active, you can walk to our local hospital in 3-4 hours, and some do this, and back, for visiting. If you can't walk that far, the bus journeys take even longer, and to visit for about an hour, you would be out all day (some have to do this).

I hope it is resolved, they must be grateful to you for helping.

V3ra Wed 06-Dec-23 17:19:38


Presumably if it’s just a fall the friend won’t be in hospital all that long. There is huge press on hospitals so they won’t keep her longer than needed.

My Mum ended up staying in hospital for six weeks after a fall in the shower at home, no bones broken but badly bruised.
Partly this was because she refused to accept any carers coming to her at home, and the hospital refused to discharge her until she agreed.
The social worker told me that as I have power of attorney I could overrule Mum, thankfully she did eventually agree.
She still had to stay in until the OT department had visited the house and fitted some safety equipment.
You can't always expect elderly people to be discharged quickly 🙁

Tenko Wed 06-Dec-23 21:09:47


Presumably if it’s just a fall the friend won’t be in hospital all that long. There is huge press on hospitals so they won’t keep her longer than needed.

Sometimes it depends on the cause of the fall . My mother had a fall recently and as she was complaining of dizziness, the hospital did loads of tests and found her bp was very high . They wouldn’t discharge her until her bp was lower and was stabilised . And that took a week .

cornergran Wed 06-Dec-23 23:03:57

With increasing specialisation it’s inevitable sadly. Or it is in this area. When Mr C was in hospital for major surgery recently my options from home were buses or taxi, currently £67 each way. I’m lucky, I could get the bus and cope with the two hour journey door to door, many folk can’t.

I’m sorry your brothers friend is so isolated dee, it must be distressing. Is there a clinical reason for the change of location? Has anyone asked? In any case I hope home or closer to home very soon.

DaisyL Thu 07-Dec-23 12:10:05

Our local Hospice received a donation of several iPads so that patients without visitors could Facetime them - could this be an option. Someone could show her how to do this and it would make her feel less lonely.

FindingNemo15 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:41:26

Silverlining. We are now on our third social worker. None are very helpful and do not carry out any requests. I have given up.

silverlining48 Thu 07-Dec-23 13:13:34

I am sorry nemo. They should be keeping you involved in or at the very least aware of decisions. Dont give up, complain.

madeleine45 Thu 07-Dec-23 13:20:03

I can understand both sides and of course if there is some specialized treatment she would be in the best place. I did hospital car volunteer driving for over 10 years 3 days a week, so have some knowledge of this sort of thing. My only suggestion that may help a little is are you able to contact someone like the Rotary Club or something like friends of the hospital sort of thing, where they may run a scheme to be able to take people to visit for the cost of the fuel. alternatively - whilst of course understanding how busy people will be at this time - if you have friends or perhaps are members of some clubs you may have people who again would be prepared to take you to the hospital for the cost of the fuel to go there? Quite separately from doing the ambulance car scheme I took a few people over the years , who all lived alone with no local relatives, to various things , usually to visit someone of importance to them, but once took a lady who for medical reasons , could no longer drive, and longed to see the sea and there was no public transport that would have given her a reasonable day. So I picked her up from her house, took her to the coast and she did whatever she wanted to do for the day. She paid for the fuel, as unfortunately I do not have the resources to be able to give that to her but was very happy to give my time, so perhaps if you look around you may have someone who could help you in this way. I wish you the best of luck and that they will not be in hospital for long

Stansgran Thu 07-Dec-23 17:11:51

I used to do this via the Red Cross. I don’t know if they still enable bedridden patients to be visited.

4allweknow Fri 08-Dec-23 00:51:53

Sounds like her fall wasn't serious but has been moved for her ongoing health issues. The hospital she has been moved to may be the best one to address these. Has there been any info on how long stay may be? Perhaps those who can travel can do a rota vwuth someone visiting every 3/4 days and liaising about needs for her hospital stay. Not the ideal position but at least receiving care.