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Bed blocking

(53 Posts)
silversurf Fri 03-Apr-20 20:06:37

Haven’t heard anyone mention this. As many virus patients are elderly what will happen if they recover, live alone but are not fit enough to care for themselves including those who need to be discharged from hospital after recovering from other conditions?
There are not enough care homes now, home care is hit and miss and convalescent homes now non existent.
This needs to be addressed urgently.

patd Sat 04-Apr-20 13:46:23

my son-in-law is in stoke mandeville spinal unit, was told two weeks ago they were sending him home even though the adaption work to his house has not started but my son, his partner, has cleared one room and they have delivered a hospital bed, hoist and other equipment including medication but still waiting to be moved to home, he is getting very upset (he is paralysed from the chest down),can only move his head everything has to be done for him which my son is prepared to help out with but everything is being held up while they trying to find carers etc. because of my age and the virus i cannot go and help them so i am getting very frustrated and worried for them both.Also they are moving patients from the main hospital into the spinal unit because of the virus. Sorry rant over, just fingers crossed he will be home soon.

Luckygirl Sat 04-Apr-20 13:47:24

Bring back cottage hospitals!

AlfiesGM Sat 04-Apr-20 13:59:49

My partners mum has been in hospital for 8 weeks with pneumonia, she also has heart disease. She’s still not 100% but the hospital sent her to a local care home this week, she had no say in the matter. On arrival she was presented with a DNR . Partner is furious angry

Greeneyedgirl Sat 04-Apr-20 14:06:27

I do hope that the fear which this pandemic engenders does not cause us to lose our compassion for the weak and vulnerable.
If it does we will have a moral disease in addition to a viral one, and will leave society with a terrible legacy.

Petalpop Sat 04-Apr-20 15:24:06

My niece is an NHS nurse at a hospice. They are adapting the hospice so they can place bed blockers there to get them out of the hospital wards. Problem is the safety of the poor patients in the hospice bad enough needing hospice care as it is. It is all so depressing.

4allweknow Sat 04-Apr-20 15:32:43

When all the current nightmare started a previous SNP government adviser apparently stated the crisis would be good as the deaths of old people in care homes and hospitals would help reduce bed blocking issue. Every cloud.......... !! The vulnerable elderly are treated disgracefully in this country at the best of times never mind now. I truly believe a large percentage of the people we maintain who have terrible dementia and severe chronic illness would have said during their life they would not want to live like that. Pop a pill for me.

Greeneyedgirl Sat 04-Apr-20 15:53:50

It's one thing "popping a bill" for oneself, but an entirely different thing deciding for others that their lives are not worth living or saving. sad

blueskies Sat 04-Apr-20 15:59:20

It's the Tory herd strategy innit

NanaHev Sat 04-Apr-20 16:12:20

Some of the comments on this thread make me wonder if some people are just thinking about the inheritance. To those people I say just remember this is a site for grandmothers so maybe your own offspring are having a look at you; sideways!

In 2018 I was in hospital, at the age of 74, for the first time as an adult and got called a "bed-blocker" openly so I discharged myself after 4 days. Hateful people.
Last year had a heart attack. All the specialist docs and nurses were brilliant but when I got onto the general ward more nastiness from a small minority.

My postman delivered my meds today. He doesnt call me "bed-blocker". He is my life-saver.

travelsafar Sat 04-Apr-20 16:29:56

This is all terribly sad and scarey. I worked with older people before i retired. Age shouldn't come into it. I remember some people in their late 80's with full capacity, just frail and needing help with showering dressing and social interaction as they couldnt go out alone, if any of them had been offered a DNR i would have been mortified. Just because you are elderly doesn't mean you want to die!!! Worries me sick as i am heading towards 70 in a couple of years , and i still consider myself a fully paid up member of society and entitled to treatment if i become poorly and need a hospital bed!!!!!!

Lorelei Sat 04-Apr-20 16:51:38

flowers for all those worried generally and personally about vulnerable people being sent home or elsewhere when all their needs are unlikely to be met - times are bad for most of us but it does seem some people are a lot more vulnerable than others.

@patd - I hope your son and son-in-law are able to cope and that some help will be forthcoming as they try to adjust - this sort of emotional wear-and-tear must be hard on all of you - I wish you all well - stay safe.

Sugarpufffairy Sat 04-Apr-20 17:27:33

There does not seem to me to beany capability of forward thinking or planning in the NHS or Social Services.
The hospitals want to discharge people and if Social Services don't or wont accept their responsibilities to provide assistance to those newly out of hospital, it falls to a family member, usually just the one family member. Sooner or later that family member is going to get ill or worn out so now there is another person needing hospital treatment and help.
I just don't see the logic in this.

Elizabeth1 Sat 04-Apr-20 17:37:27

Whew I’m very lucky I was discharged home before all this virus took hold I’ve got the best most kindly carers ever who are trained to practice personal safety hygiene when entering my home to care for me we’ve both me and the care provider agreed to reduce the amounts of these visits to minimise the potential risks from the virus. God help those folks at home who are on their own im truly blessed flowers

Casdon Sat 04-Apr-20 19:31:35

It’s very tempting to blame the NHS or Social Services for not being able to move people who need care packages out of hospital. The reality is that there aren’t enough people who want to be carers in the UK, and therefore care packages just aren’t available. The government has starved public services of funding for many years, which has driven down the wages of staff and agency staff who provide a lot of home care. At the moment staff sickness rates are also high, so getting people who would be much safer at home out of hospital is very difficult indeed. I work in the system, and I can promise we all care - I wish more families would realise that hospitals are the worst place for their family members to be at the moment, and take them home to look after while they are self -isolating themselves, that is the only short term solution that will keep many of them safe.

Sugarpufffairy Sat 04-Apr-20 20:20:49

Casdon I don't know how or why anyone would think that a small woman could or should be manhandling a 6 ft 15 stone man who could barely walk around a house on her own. That is not Health and Safety at all but then family members who care at home don't get any recognition or care.
Can you explain that?

Nanny27 Sat 04-Apr-20 21:22:15

My poor mum is 95 with advanced heart disease and dementia. When she got pneumonia she went into hospital but when the time came for her to be returned home (my sister who is almost 70) cares for her) it was decided that she would need a care package. She waited, bed blocking for a further 2 weeks until the hospital just sent her home. Now my sister cares for her full time. My mum cannot walk, is doubly incontinent and most of the time doesn't know who any of us are. She gets my sister up at least 3 or 4 times every night and I am worried sick that she will have a break down. There are no carers.

Onelifeletsliveit Sat 04-Apr-20 21:24:12

It’s not just the elderly that get discharged from hospital too early. I’m 53, had a burst appendix last year. There were complications which lead to a longer stay. My stats were a bit all over the place I was told, but they were busy so they said they were going to send me home. 5 days later I was in terrible pain. I’d contracted a serious infection that later turned into sepsis. I was seriously ill on life support for 2 weeks just because they wanted me out of hospital early. Don’t feel alone if you’re in the upper age bracket and bring sent home too early, it happens at my age too.

GabriellaG54 Sun 05-Apr-20 02:10:18

If I was ill and in pain with little hope of recovery my preference would be an anaesthetic jab of the kind before an op, and drift off pleasantly, never to waken.
Rather that than a care home.

Ninny1967 Sun 05-Apr-20 11:35:47

Fancy refusing having her back, just because she wasn’t paying enough money! The owners need naming and shaming especially in light of this horrendous situation we are all in

Ninny1967 Sun 05-Apr-20 11:54:48

Same with me, had a routine Angioplasty at age 47, the donut crushed my arteries so had to have invasive surgery, artery grafted from my lower leg, which they didn’t use, and a large scar from the top of my thigh into my groin and part way up to my abdomen. When I came back from surgery my Femoral artery burst and but fr the quick action of my named nurse, virtuallly jumping on top of me and clamping my lady garden in her hands then I would have bled to death! I was literally paddling in my blood, it was so frightening. After that I got water infection, then sepsis, then developed Fibromyalgia! So haven’t been able to work since! That’s the worstt part I used to love working even though it was long hours!

Greeneyedgirl Sun 05-Apr-20 13:19:10

When we refer to human beings as "bed blockers" we are dehumanising them.
It is a dreadful term which lacks all compassion.

trisher Sun 05-Apr-20 13:41:13

The care system has been in chaos for years. My mother died in 2018 in hospital waiting for a care package her lovely social worker just couldn't arrange. Caring has been regarded as a low pay, unskilled job done by the lowest in society. At the same time private care home owners have been making fortunes charging huge fees and making big profits. The whole system needs looking at and revising. It would be good to see more homes run by societies such as Abbeyfield on a non-profit making basis.

Greeneyedgirl Sun 05-Apr-20 16:40:23

I think it would be good for Local Councils to run Care Homes actually. It worked well before their budgets were squeezed and they passed them over to the wonderful private for profit sector.

endre123 Sun 05-Apr-20 16:42:24

There are people in their 20-30s reporting they have had DNR forms for being disabled! These are very wrong, they come from "some" GPs and groups. Never sign them. The BMA and GMC are trying to stop them. Those sending these out now will be dealt with after the pandemic is over. It could mean being struck off.

growstuff Sun 05-Apr-20 16:54:51

I agree with you absolutely Greeneyedgirl. The biggest reason I'm dreading being infected is what would happen to me if I were hospitalised and then have nobody to take care of me after discharge (assuming I survived). I remember full well what it was like after I had a heart attack two and half years ago. I was discharged after three days. It was not possible to arrange transport from the hospital 40 miles away. There's no public transport and no taxi firm would take me without somebody to accompany me. My daughter ended up having to take a day off work and doing a 400 mile round trip to bring me home. When I was at home I was told to rest for a week and not to drive for a month. However, I was also told to see my GP as soon as possible to arrange medication. The GP wouldn't do a home visit and there wasn't an appointment for five weeks anyway. I couldn't walk to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. I have no close family and, at the time, I didn't know anybody I could ask to take me to the GP or pick up my medication.

I expect the situation is even worse now because more people are in the same boat. If people don't have family, they're just left on their own.

As for private carers … I keep reading on a local Facebook page about individual carers having to queue up for hours to do shopping for their clients. This seems a total waste of their valuable time, which should be spent caring. If social care were more centralised, clients could make a shopping list and the council could arrange with local supermarkets for one big shop, which carers could then pick up from a central area. Private carers shouldn't, in my opinion, be used for people in recovery. The NHS has empty buildings which could be used for the purpose and could be requisitioned by local councils.