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Why is it so hard to get discharged from hospital?

(45 Posts)
Cabbie21 Wed 01-Feb-23 13:36:09

DH is due out today. He was dressed and packed by 9.30am.
I rang the ward about 1030.
Nurse: Do you want to come later?
Me: No, I want to come as soon as he is ready.
Nurse: You come now?
Me: No, I will come as soon as he is ready, but until then, there is nowhere to park.
Nurse: He is waiting for meds. .
Me: He has got them Nurse: There is a late adjustment to meds.

Later DH tells me he is Waiting for paperwork.Paperwork arrived, waiting to be moved to discharge lounge. Now in cramped and spartan discharge lounge.
They have forgotten his frame. Someone goes to fetch it.
He has missed lunch now.
Only one loo, not close by.
I tried to ring the discharge lounge. Got put through to wrong number twice. Third time lucky. Nurse tells me he is waiting for meds. Here we go again.
DH texts me , hungry, needs the loo, utterly fed up.
It will take me 40 minutes to get there and they still havent rung me.
To be continued…

vegansrock Wed 01-Feb-23 13:58:15

I feel your pain…one of my neighbours was kept waiting the whole day for her painkillers after an op she left the hospital in the late afternoon without them and got a taxi home. She later sent her DH to collect the meds. He rode his bike the 5 miles to a central London hospital . He had a puncture and had to call my DH at 9 pm to go and pick him and the bike up ….

Norah Wed 01-Feb-23 14:02:37

I'm sorry.

Callistemon21 Wed 01-Feb-23 14:07:15

I'm sorry to hear this Cabbie and hope he'll be home soon.

Luckygirl3 Wed 01-Feb-23 15:58:04

Ìt is so frustrating .... been there, done that. Spent hours waiting for OH ... in the end they had to keep

Georgesgran Wed 01-Feb-23 16:03:46

Me too - average wait was 6 hours from various hospitals!

pascal30 Wed 01-Feb-23 16:03:53

But Cabbie, thank goodness he is going home...wishing him well

Marydoll Wed 01-Feb-23 16:10:02


Me too - average wait was 6 hours from various hospitals!

Same for me, waiting for meds. I went home in pyjamas during the pandemic and was wheeled out to the car park in them.
I didn't care, I was so glad to be going home alive and having avoided Covid, after a second heart attack.

Grandmadinosaur Wed 01-Feb-23 16:16:37

My DH had similar issues about 6 years ago. In the end after waiting in a discharge lounge a very kind nurse on his ward who lived near to us offered to drop off his meds on her way home.
Also had the same last year till in the end he told them I’m going.

AGAA4 Wed 01-Feb-23 16:18:01

I was told I would have to wait to be seen by the doctor before I could go home.
Hours later I saw the consultant pass by the ward I was in. He noticed me stopped for a second and said "oh you can go" and rushed off.

Wyllow3 Wed 01-Feb-23 16:29:51

Unfortunately it seems to be the norm. And was a few year back too. Hope you are home and cosy asap!

Oreo Wed 01-Feb-23 16:36:44

Yup, always the same, hospitals are like the Hotel California😄

SueDonim Wed 01-Feb-23 18:57:24

I’m so glad your Dh is well enough to go home, Cabbie, I know you’ve had a very stressful time. flowers

My dd has to do the discharge work for patients and it’s very difficult. She’s constantly called away to crash situations, has to deal with very sick people, staff wanting things signed off, phone calls, pager calls and so on and so forth.

Maybe there could be a better system, with a dedicated person seeing to discharges but I suppose like the rest of the NHS there aren’t enough staff to do that.

LadyHonoriaDedlock Wed 01-Feb-23 19:45:21

It's almost always the pharmacy, not the paperwork, that keeps me waiting.

Obviously unless it's a secure hospital like Broadmoor they can't stop you discharging yourself but it's never really a good idea.

SueDonim Wed 01-Feb-23 19:52:22

If it’s like where my dd works, the various IT systems don’t talk to each other and these things have to be done manually. hmm

lixy Wed 01-Feb-23 19:59:55

Oh wow cabbie that is brilliant news - that he's being discharged already.

It seems it's as to get out of hospitals as it is to get into them!

I hope that you are both safely home by now.

Katyj Wed 01-Feb-23 20:05:07

Oh yes so frustrating I could write a book. Mum was once waiting to come home from 10 am 1pm they said she’d have to stay 4 pm changed again she could come home 4.30pm no she couldn’t wrong meds.
They eventually sent her home 3.30am aged 91 very poorly to an empty house without telling anyone. She phoned me herself at that time. Disgraceful!

swampy1961 Wed 01-Feb-23 20:38:09

My husband was caught like this for nearly 8 hours after they said he could go home, but first the doctor had to visit, then he had to raise a prescription for his medications, then the nurse who was doing all the paperwork was doing each outgoing patient individually one at a time!
During which time the hospital network went down and she then could not print off the requisite paperwork for discharge.
Whereas in the real world if you were an administrator and knew early on in the shift that 4/5 patients were leaving that day that you would prepare and print all their paperwork, have it ready and filed and only awaiting the delivery from the pharmacy so that they could go as soon as everything was okay. Not so at this hospital - and on a day when we were told 17 Ambulances were queuing up outside desperate to drop off their patients and get on with their next job!!
Time and Motion studies would be a good exercise in the NHS to actually see where the issues are and ultimately improve the NHS for everyone - staff and patients alike!

ParlorGames Wed 01-Feb-23 20:42:12

I am so sorry to hear this Cabbie, there is no excuse for this. I experienced similar inept mismanagement when my Mum was discharged from hospital on a number of occasions.
My advice would be for you to complain to PALS.

pinkprincess Wed 01-Feb-23 21:06:21

About 4 years ago I remember going with my DS to collect my DH from hospital.We had been told he was already to go home, so DS waited in the ''free or 30 mins''car parking space while I went to the ward to get DH.
He was dressed, packed and ready but his medications had not been checked yet.It Took an hour for a nurse to come and go over every single drug, he had quite a lot,two were missing so she had to get them. After 20 mins DS came to the ward to see what was happening as parking time nearly up.He stayed for about 10 mins then returned to find a parking fine on the car.
Next time we had to bring DH home, we learned our lesson.DS dropped me off then drove straight of somewhere until I rang to tell him DH and I were now outside the hospital ready to go home.

Ali23 Wed 01-Feb-23 21:16:15

Hope you’re home safe and sound, Cabbie.
Discharge is always such a nightmare and so messy. My mum was on a ward once where they had a discharge nurse. I can’t say it helped things move any smoother as she basically had too many patients to deal with and was still at the mercy of doctor availability and pharmacies.

Glorianny Wed 01-Feb-23 21:31:32

Well doctors are overloaded with work. Pharmacies in hospitals now are often privatised businesses. The service they provide in what is basically a monopoly is usually dreadful. My mum was prescribed a drug that had to be supplied by a hospital. We often had over an hour to wait for it to be dispensed.
I do think the checks are important. My mum was waiting o be discharged after a minor op when she was suddenly informed she was being transferred instead. They'd discovered she'd had a minor heart attack and she needed more tests.

Cabbie21 Wed 01-Feb-23 21:59:58

We finally got home just before 6 pm.
His meds were all sorted yesterday in theory. A last minute adjustment, hence the delay. But it was a tablet which he has plenty of at home!
I was given poor directions to the so- called Discharge Lounge. I was told it was just inside a certain entrance which I found, but no DL or signs. Eventually I found a person who helpfully told me I needed to go upstairs. When I got out of the lift, still no signs. Empty corridors. A nurse emerged and was so helpful, took me to where I needed to go, which was in fact a Ward with a name! On the ward they could not have been more helpful. A porter and a nurse accompanied DH and me to the car. 50 minute drive home. It has been a busy evening. Thank you for all your good wishes.

Luckygirl3 Wed 01-Feb-23 22:02:18

Phew - I am glad you are both safely home now.

Callistemon21 Wed 01-Feb-23 22:25:38

^Pharmacies in hospitals now are often privatised businesses.
The service they provide in what is basically a monopoly is usually dreadful.^

I'm not sure that is the case everywhere because hospital pharmacists here have been undertaking telephone appointments here on behalf of the hospital consultants, although this is not always made clear to the patient. Apparently, they are considered to be part of the team and I was told would know more about the drugs than the doctors.