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To make a complaint about district nurses?

149 replies

Luseez · 14/06/2017 13:49

My grandmother has been getting leg ulcer dressed for weeks. The nurses visit every Friday.

A few weeks back my grandma asked them if the visits could be before lunch so she can do her shopping in the afternoon as Friday is the only day she can do it. The nurse got very snotty with her and said the criteria for care is that the patients have to be housebound as she she's going out shopping, she shouldn't qualify. Grandma explained that her daughter takes her in car and Friday is the only day they can do it yet the nurse insisted that visits can't be timed and they will arrive anywhere between 8.30am and 5pm!!

Anyway a few weeks later my grandma asked another nurse if she knew what time they'd be coming the following week as she has a rare opportunity for a hairdressers appointment as a relative can take her that day. The nurse replied that no she didn't know and "going to hairdressers isn't housebound" and should she make her an appointment to get her legs dressed at the surgery in future. Grandma explained that the next door neighbour didn't keep a tidy crotch that she couldn't get to the surgery as she didn't always have people to take her there and back so the nurse said "well if they find out you're going out for things like hairdresser they'll make you attend a treatment room for your dressings.

Fast forward to last week, my grandma waited in all day for the nurse. It got to 4pm and my grandma was getting desperate for something to eat (diabetic) and had nothing in so assuming the nurse wasn't coming (as it was 4pm and the last nurse had told her they start doing other stuff at 4pm) my grandma walked to the shop at the end of the street to grab something to eat. When she got back the nurse was sat in her car and got out and said "you managing to get out and about then? I'll refer you to treatment room for next week". My grandma explained that she'd only just managed to walk to shop as she was diabetic and desperately needed something to eat. THE nurse apologised and said she'd try and keep the visits going.

Today she recieves a letter about 4 appointments for the next four weeks at various locations across the city as she's no longer been deemed as housebound. She's upset and worried as she can't get there. The district nurse on the phone said they had to prioritise patients who were "truly housebound". AIBU to make an official complaint?

OP posts:
UpOnDown · 14/06/2017 13:52

Is there a community car scheme in your area that could help your grandma get there?

Battytwatty · 14/06/2017 13:54

Her next door neighbour didn't keep a tidy crotch??
Sorry that really made me laugh!!

Justmuddlingalong · 14/06/2017 13:54

my grandma waited in all day for the nurse. Can you not see the irony of this sentence?

buntingqueen · 14/06/2017 13:54

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you won't get anywhere with a complaint I'm afraid. District nurses are only commissioned to visit housebound patients and this is very strictly enforced (only over the past couple of years because of tighter budgets), and management will back the district nurses all the way. You will likely struggle to get her back on their caseload now as well.
This is the experience in my area at least, but I believe it is the way it is all over the country.

StumpyScot92 · 14/06/2017 13:55

Grandma explained that the next door neighbour didn't keep a tidy crotch

Sorry, not to detract from your post but erm... is this a saying I haven't came across or a typo or am I missing something? haha

Back to the nurses. It's a bit of a difficult one, I agree from what you have said that she would struggle to make those appointments but I suppose from the nurses point of view they probably get people taking the piss a fair bit too and maybe aren't handling it so easily?

Up here in Scotland we have a patient transport mini bus type thing that can be arranged from the local surgeries to collect and drop off people who would struggle otherwise to get to appointments. More useful than a taxi because the drivers help patients in etc is there anything similar down your way you could enquire about?

BadPolicy · 14/06/2017 13:55

On what basis would you be complaining? On 3 occasions in the last few weeks your grandmother has indicated she isn't housebound so she is no longer receiving a service for those who are housebound.

Lovestonap · 14/06/2017 13:56

I'm sorry, I don't think your grandmother is housebound. My grandmother had to get taxis etc to her local surgery to have her legs treated.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream · 14/06/2017 14:00

Sorry but she isn't housebound. Housebound is not being ABLE to leave the house. Not having transport is not being housebound. She needs to ask about transport.

harderandharder2breathe · 14/06/2017 14:02

It's an unfortunate situation but services are desperately stretched and several times in as many weeks your grandma has indicated she's not housebound. I can see the reasoning that if she can get shopping and to hair appointments, why can't she get to the GP surgery? To them it must seem like she's prioritising other things.

If she can't get people to drive her then she'll have to get taxis.

Why are her appointments at 4 different locations? Are they all for the ulcer dressing or are they different specialities?

caffeinestream · 14/06/2017 14:02

She's not housebound though Confused

Underthemoonlight · 14/06/2017 14:02

Having worked in community care you can't give people exact appointment times. Their day starts early normally giving insultin to diabetics who are unable to do so thereselves or attend clinic, they might be with a patient who is palletive (end of life care) for several hours. The fact that I'm guessing different nurses have noticed and picked up on the fact that your grandma is capable of getting to the hairdressers, shopping and the corner shop is very telling. The service is very limited our NHS is extremely over worked. They do offer appointments at the doctors/hospital and provide a shuttle bus which would pick her up from home. Surely if fridays is the day you know the district nurses are coming you should make it priority to keep it free and go other days. As for the 4pm visit it can be normal for them to over run and have additional clients to squeeze in especially as the district nurses is more limited over the weekend than during the week.

Steeley113 · 14/06/2017 14:04

I'm sorry, I really do feel for your grandma but she isn't housebound. Unfortunately, the services are stretched and they need to prioritise. Maybe she can ask about transport.

Moreisnnogedag · 14/06/2017 14:04

they are correct though - she isn't housebound. I think the walking down to the shops was the final straw from their POV.

WineAndTiramisu · 14/06/2017 14:06

She's not housebound, therefore they are correct. There's not enough of them to see everyone who doesn't have transport, either she uses a taxi or asks about hospital transport

Dishwashersaurous · 14/06/2017 14:08

Your grandmother is clearly poorly but she is not housebound and the service is for those who are housebound.

If she get in a car to go shopping then she can get in a taxi and go to the surgery.

The service is for those who can't leave the house at all. Not for those who are frail

Grumpbum · 14/06/2017 14:09

What they all said, it's not unreasonable to ask your Grandma's daughter to take her to the practice nurse on a Friday when they go out to do their shopping

Decaffstilltastesweird · 14/06/2017 14:12

I also feel for your grandmother, but can see why they have decided to ask her to make her way to a clinic from now on. She doesn't sound housebound and if their policy is that they only attend people who are housebound, then it makes sense that they want her to come to clinics from now on.

theapplesarecoming · 14/06/2017 14:14

What are you going to complain about? From what you have said she is not housebound.

You could ask the surgery if they have any patient transport though.

Hisnamesblaine · 14/06/2017 14:16

Agree with everyone else. Hopefully the clinic isn't too far away so she can take a taxi or ask her daughter. Also I find it hard to belive she would have nothing in her house to eat. Could you recommend online deliveries? If she isn't computer Davy I'm sure her daughter or another relative could sort it out for her?

wowbutter · 14/06/2017 14:17

What would you be complaining about? That nurses are following policy?
The nurses visit those in the house who cannot leave, she can leave, and has demonstrated that several times.
I understand it's upsetting for you, and it may cause a few issues with transport and things, but your grandma needs to visit the clinics, and has demonstrated she can.
Can you, your mum, any family, a local taxi firm or anyone not take her to he clinics? Being housebound means exactly that, unable to leave the house, so hair dressers comes e to the house, if she leaves its in a wheelchair etc.
I know this is upsetting you, but you need to suck it up now and make a plan for how you can help.
It costs a lot for community care, and unfortunately hey have thresholds.

Roomba · 14/06/2017 14:18

No advice, but my disabled neighbour had similar last year - district nurses refused to visit any more as he'd been out when they arrived.

He'd been at A&E! I had to take him after he fell and injured his remaining leg (other was amputated, he has severe heart failure, lung problems, is alcoholic and has serious other MH issues. I rang to explain what had happened and spoke to a woman who said if he had someone who could get him to A&E in a car, he had someone who could get him to the Drs in a car. Hence they weren't needed. It was the only time he'd left the house in almost 3 years - I would call that housebound! And I only took him as I saw him fall and was advised there would be a wait of at least 1.5 hrs for an ambulance. His GP sorted it in the end.

As others have said though, if you can get out to the hairdressers or anywhere else regularly (even if that means a taxi, patient transport or someone else taking you), you won't be classed as 'Housebound' . Because you're not, sorry.

ShuttyTown · 14/06/2017 14:22

YABU she isn't housebound.


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Framboise18 · 14/06/2017 14:24

I understand your grandmother points of not always having someone who can take her around. However have you considered taking a taxi to the local surgery as it's only once a week and that way it would stop her from being stuck all Friday waiting around ?

Ficklemarket · 14/06/2017 14:24

Sounds like they were, at best, undiplomatic and , at worst, bloody rude.
It is brilliant that your Gran still has some independence. It is a good time to look at what transport options are available and affordable for her to get to appointments if she doesn't meet the criteria for home visits.
Does your Gran need care visits to make sure she is eating regularly? Might be something to look into.
As scary as it first seems we found social services couldn't do enough to help my late mum and work things out for her. And that is in a town which has considerable demands on social services. I was genuinely taken aback at how thorough, respectful and person focused they were.
In fact, I never wrote to thank them after she passed away recently. I should do that now.

Babbaganush · 14/06/2017 14:24

The district nursing service is under huge strain, it is there for those who can't leave the house. If your grandmother is able to get out to the hairdresser and shopping then she doesn't qualify.

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