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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:
waitforitfdear · 14/06/2017 14:54

Hi op

As an ex district nurse sorry your and yours should be helping your gran now. If she can walk you the shop she can get in s taxi get a lift from a friend or ting and ride.

Can't a friend or relative take her once a week go her GP to get her leg dressed?

The mornings are for diabetics and the dying and then to the housebound and back to the dying snd diabetics.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 14/06/2017 14:58

My mother can't walk any distance due to her spine basically crumbling - she is in constant pain, which is controlled by morphine patches - and there is no way she could walk to the corner shop, but when she had a leg ulcer last year, that needed redressing regularly, she had to get herself to the surgery every time. If she is not considered house bound, despite being considered eligible for a blue badge, then someone who can walk to the corner shop isn't house bound.

Your grandma could see if there is a local community car service that could take her to her appointments, or get a taxi. It would not be unreasonable for her to ask for all the appointments to be made at the nearest surgery to her - but clearly unreasonable to expect the district nurses to continue visiting.

beckyjade91 · 14/06/2017 14:59

If she can walk to the shop she can get in a taxi. Yabu.

notanevilstepmother · 14/06/2017 15:03

It's a nurse not a hairdresser. They are busy and they come when they can not by appointment. For those who are actually entitled to a home visit waiting in for them isn't an issue.

If she can walk to the shops, go shopping and to the hairdresser she can get to the surgery or wherever.

There are ways of getting help with transport.

Alternatively if you want customer care and a scheduled appointment time and no one from the family can take her to get her dressings changed, perhaps you could hire someone from a care agency.

I can't believe you think it's ok to complain that the NHS isn't running around at your Gran's whims. Not to mention she should have food in the house if she is diabetic.

user1471531877 · 14/06/2017 15:04

If you can walk to the shop you can certainly walk to a taxi. Unfortunately a minority of people do abuse the visiting service and cause a problem for overstretched staff as it is more convenient to be seen at home.
It reminds me of an occasion I was called to visit a lady who I then spotted half an hour later ,a good distance from her home ,walking her dog!

FurryLittleTwerp · 14/06/2017 15:04

There is a certain cohort of older people who still expect to be visited at home by doctors & nurses.

It is such a waste of the health professionals' time, as several patients can be seen in the clinic in the time taken to drive to & do the visit, & is not the ideal setting in which to be providing medical care, for the most part.

littlehygge · 14/06/2017 15:10

I'm not sure you'd get anywhere with a complaint I'#m afraid
Can her daughter take her to the appointments?

superfluffyanimal · 14/06/2017 15:11

When I injured my leg I got taxi's to the GP surgery for dressings.

My Gran who is mostly housebound gets hairdresser at home and gets shopping brought in.

Why does shopping have to happen on a Friday? Why couldn't this happen another day if waiting for district nurse? Why are the family letting her shelves run so bare that she is endangering her health due to diabetes? or was it that she didn't have anything in that she fancied? as for the hairdressing appointment then I am flabbergasted that you or her think that this is acceptable, to expect a community nurse to work around that?

As others have said ask for the appointments for dressing change to be at her nearest GP surgery and maybe order in internet groceries for her?

Babyblues14 · 14/06/2017 15:14

I work in care, they won't give house calls back. If she has independence to get out then she can go to appointments. Thats the way it goes. They are stretched enough as it is so any opportunity to lighten the load they will take it. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Have worked alongside some of these district nurses with this kind of attitude. I think they must be trained in it

ComedyofTerrors · 14/06/2017 15:14

On a totally different tack. Would her daughter be able to food shop online for her so that she's never left without anything to eat?

Fluffycloudland77 · 14/06/2017 15:23

You see less patients on a day of house calls than in clinic.

She's not housebound though. It's more difficult for her but she's not housebound.

Kokusai · 14/06/2017 15:27

Well she isn't housebound!

If she can walk to the shops she can get a taxi to the surgery.

waitforitfdear · 14/06/2017 15:32

And this is why the NHS is stretched as so many people feel entitled to instant home care from a qualified professional, we had unbelievable self referrals when I was a DN back in the 90s Not to mention those turning up st A&E with splinters in their fingers. Angry and getting angry at staff demanding immediate treatment.

Goingtobeawesome · 14/06/2017 15:36

Why is she so low in food that she had to struggle to the shop, after going hungry all day, to get something? Maybe you could buy her some long life food items.

vgmumnotatall · 14/06/2017 15:36

Ffs and everyone wonders why the NHS is on its knees.

I'm sure your granny does find it easier to be visited at home, but she doesn't NEED it. I'm sure your granny does find it difficult to get out and about but she CAN (not shouting btw, just reinforcing!). It's a matter of convenience for you and her.
Our community nurses are so overstretched it's ridiculous. More & more is being expected of them, a lot of it outwith their remit.
So please - save services like this for those who truly are housebound so that we are in a position to keep offering it. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about

FlyingElbows · 14/06/2017 15:43

Op I suspect the real case is that you've got no idea the work district nurses actually do with the very unwell and terminally ill patients they see alongside people like your grandma, people whose needs do jot run to a timetable! Make your complaint if you want but it will, quite rightly, get you nowhere. Your grandmother is not housebound and the NHS cannot afford to provide in-home care for people who don't need it. If turning up on time is an essential part of organising your gran's busy life then an appointment at the surgery and a booked taxi would be ideal.

Ficklemarket · 14/06/2017 15:50

"There is a certain cohort of older people who still expect to be visited at home by doctors & nurses.

It is such a waste of the health professionals' time,"

Only because they are not properly funded. Don't blame it on the elderly who have paid more than most into the system.
Breaking the news to them that it isn't what they were told before is harsh and depressing news.

waitforitfdear · 14/06/2017 15:52

My elderly parents don't expect to be waited on like this and mum has Altzimers.

In my experience selfish entitled people are just that old and young.

alltouchedout · 14/06/2017 15:53

And people wonder why the NHS is in crisis!
It's not in crisis because of stuff like this ffs. It's in crisis because it is chronically underfunded and badly managed by successive governments. Whilst I agree this lady is not housebound and does not meet the criteria for this service, it really irritates me when people make these silly comments.

PersianCatLady · 14/06/2017 15:53

my grandma waited in all day for the nurse. Can you not see the irony of this sentence?
I didn't get this either.

Surely if the GM is able to go out in the afternoon to get her shopping then she is well enough to visit the doctor's surgery to see the nurse??

Or am I missing the point??

PersianCatLady · 14/06/2017 15:55

Am I sorry to say this OP but the NHS is stretched enough as it is without district nurses having to arrange appointments around your GM's busy life.

NellieFiveBellies · 14/06/2017 15:59

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ficklemarket · 14/06/2017 16:00

Calling the op's grandma selfish and entitled is cruel and unfair.
We don't know the full circs or have a full picture of her health.
Back off with that shit.
Op, sadly now that your gran needs more involvement with the health service she will realise that it isn't what she thought it was. Better to get on the front foot and see what you can afford in terms of taxis/food delivery etc, to make it easier and to see what is available in terms of support for transport etc. Bad news is it's generally patchy.

littlehygge · 14/06/2017 16:02

She might not be able to afford a taxi, though, or be able to navigate buses without help. OP? Though it does sound like the daughter might be able to help with lifts, perhaps do the weekly shop at the same time as appointments, or book online shop.

Tinseleverywhere · 14/06/2017 16:11

When it first became apparent that the GM could go shopping with assistance, the nurse should have kindly explained that she is not considered housebound if she can walk the distance required to visit the surgery in a taxi. It's understandable your GM would not have realised this as in the past more home visits were available even if you were not totally housebound, and it may be that her first visits from the nurse were considered necessary. If its hard for her to afford a taxi there may be some help available, either financial or a volunteer car or similar, which the nurse could advise her where to ask if she qualifies for anything.
She may be slightly breaking the rules but she is an elderly lady who has health problems so I don't think she was intentionally doing anything wrong and it would have been easy for the nurse to explain the rules.

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