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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:
Mimipoo · 14/06/2017 14:25

Sorry but nurses are correct. If your Grandma has someone who can take her shopping once a week she can get a lift to clinic instead. Services are stretched no way can they give exact times of visits due to the way the caseload will work. An emergency and a palliative visit could really take hours. Your Grandma has proven she is not housebound so sorry you can not and should not complain.

Branleuse · 14/06/2017 14:26

Nurses only come out for people that are housebound. She told them on several occasions that she's not actually housebound and goes out shopping and to the hairdressers. Hopefully she can sort out a taxi or a lift now

Badbadbunny · 14/06/2017 14:28

And people wonder why the NHS is in crisis!

SquinkiesRule · 14/06/2017 14:29

She's is no longer housebound, she's well enough to go shopping each week and to the hairdressers, she could get a ride to the doctors. Not having your own car or being unable to drive yourself doesn't make you housebound.
Here the district nurses run a weekly ulcer clinic on the same day each week. Maybe she can inquire if you have on in the local community hospital too. That way she can arrange the transport in advance each week.

becotide · 14/06/2017 14:29

YABU and part of the problem. If you NEED to be seen at home, you will be seen on the NHS. If you WANT to be seen at home, pay someone. She got to the hair dresser, she got to the shop, there is no reason she can't get in a taxi.

user1492958275 · 14/06/2017 14:32

District nurses are highly stressed and rushed and busy.

Your grandma can clearly make it out of the house to go shopping, to walk to the shop (by herself was that?) and hairdressers. That is this month alone.

I'm surprised they carried in on for another 2 weeks tbh.

When there are people stuck in bed for hours waiting on a nurse to show up as it's a pressure sore or in an odd place, and the nurse can't help or hoist them back into bed. So they are stuck there all day until a nurse comes.

People like your grandma make life harder for these guys. She can visit a surgery. She can get in and out of a car, and has obvious use of her legs despite the ulcer.

Well I just think its utter madness that you want to complain TBH! I'm shocked at the cheek.

Athome77 · 14/06/2017 14:32

If u can walk to the corner shop you can get a taxi there and back as I'm sure the walk to the taxi will be shorter. It might cost and your grandma might not want to pay but that's not being housebound.

LuisSuarezTeeth · 14/06/2017 14:36

No you should not complain! If your Grandma can get out and about she can get to the surgery. Leave the DNs to attend those who really need it.

Can't believe you're even considering it.

agedknees · 14/06/2017 14:38

This reminds me of the time a complaint was made against me when I worked on the district.

One of the docs had a quiet word about why I hadn't given mrs x her injection yesterday. She had phoned the Gp to complain.

I answered I had gone to her flat (she liv d in a shelter d housing complex). The warden told me she was out getting her cigs.

I couldn't wait because I had a full book of patients to see. I tried to get to her at the end of my list but she was out at the hairdressers.

The upshot was the Gp phoned the patient and told her if she could get to the paper shop/hairdressers she could get to the surgery for her 3 monthly injections.

FastAbsorbingCake · 14/06/2017 14:38

I was slightly on your side as I assumed that friends/family were choosing to manhandling your Grandmother in and out of cars and a Taxi driver wouldn't do that, but if she's able to walk to the shops. . . . .

Nope you are very unreasonable.

CoughingForWeeks · 14/06/2017 14:39

I have a close friend who is a DN and they are absolutely stretched to the limit. I wouldn't make a complaint; they're providing a vital service under difficult circumstances and have to prioritise those patients who are genuinely housebound or receiving palliative care, because there aren't enough nurses or hours in the day for them to help as many people as they'd like to.

Fortybingowings · 14/06/2017 14:40


Shewhomustgowithoutname · 14/06/2017 14:41

I found nurses (and the whole NHS) to be most unhelpful and totally without foresight. It was insisted that I should heave an elderly person around on my own. The end result was both of us injured and in hospital.
This is why the NHS is under strain. They should have stuck to one patient and not made two. And still they cant see the irony.

WateryTart · 14/06/2017 14:41

She isn't housebound, sorry.

notanurse2017 · 14/06/2017 14:42

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ficklemarket · 14/06/2017 14:43

I learned the hard way with my late mum that keeping quiet is not a plan. Even if they say "actually, there is this service she can access" or " this is just how it is, you need to find a work around ", that is something.
My mum was a nurse and it was hard to make her speak up and, if necessary, be a polite nuisance.
I stress polite.
Those on her brusquely dismissing your gran as drain on the NHS are not particularly helpful.

Sirzy · 14/06/2017 14:44

Brilliant that she has made enough of a recovery now that she can now get out and about! Time for family who can do shopping and hair to also do appointments or help her arrange taxis. Now the service can help others who need it like she did.

User843022 · 14/06/2017 14:45

On a Friday your gran should have made sure she had enough food in, or someone could have dropped some off for her? she then should have stayed at home and waited for the D/N who clearly have a busy caseload and can't always predict when the visits will be.

As your gran clearly isn't housebound though ill health, you and the rest of your family need to sit down and work out a rota to get her to her dressing appointments.


Palomb · 14/06/2017 14:45

Well they have a point don't they. She isn't housebound.

ArchieStar · 14/06/2017 14:46

It's a shame because they will view her as not housebound, even though she is struggling. That's the criteria though so a complaint won't get you very far. Have you got a driving miss daisy in your area? I know there are a few scattered about in the UK so they're worth looking in to. Or asking at your surgery if there is anything like community transport to help.

It would be great for people like your grandma if the criteria was extended to meet their needs, however my own grandma has recently had an operation and we've had to travel to 2 different hospitals (3 different wards in total) to get the side effects of said operation sorted out, this is because even though she struggles, she's not housebound and doesn't warrant district nurse intervention.

I hope she manages to find suitable transport!

JaneEyre70 · 14/06/2017 14:46

I'd be embarassed to complain tbh.......if your grandmother is able to get out and about, she can go and get her legs dressed. The system is buckling under the strain, she'd be able to book an appointment at her local surgery and then can go shopping/hairdressers etc whenever she is able to.

gggrrrargh · 14/06/2017 14:48

see if you have a 'good neighbour' group in your area. Ours does a lot of befriending, and lifts for people to get to things like doctors and the hospital.

2014newme · 14/06/2017 14:49

What would you complain about 🙄? She can get a lift or taxi to surgery as she does to shop and hair salon. She isn't housebound. She goes out.

Tinseleverywhere · 14/06/2017 14:50

Aibu to ignore the serious part of this post and make a joke about the NDN and their untidy crotch?

confusedat23 · 14/06/2017 14:50

YABU the services are too stretched to provide a service to people that don't want to use the transport provided.

If you contact her doctors surgeries then you will be able to arrange the transport for her.

My grandad couldn't even get palliative care at home because he was not housebound, he died only ever recieving care on 4 occasions over 4 weeks from a local charity nurse because my dad was up with him 24/7 and it just so happened he died after that, otherwise we were told he would have to recieve his end of life care from us family members.

Also you can dress ulcers at home, my grandad was also diabetic and had several ulcers on his legs that we dressed every 48 hours with stuff that we had to collect from our local doctors, if your nan needs it you will all need to work together as family to make sure she gets it.

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