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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:
ArchieStar · 14/06/2017 20:00

@Luseez by tidy crotch did you maybe mean tiny crutch? Confused

Punksparkle · 14/06/2017 20:44


You appear to suppose most NHS healthcare professionals are rude to their patients. In my experience as an NHS employee this is not the case. Moreover as an academic, we would jump on our students if they were rude, they would have a cause of concern raised, or even a fitness to practise. It is very difficult to explain to patients, elderly or not, that there is limited funding. Ore often than not, patients, particularly the older ones, can be the ones who start being rude, regardless of how kindly and pleasantly you try to explain.

Rawhh · 14/06/2017 21:12


What would you complain about. She isn't housebound so isn't entitled to the service.

Perhaps you/your mother/your auntie male relatives may also be availablecould learn to dress her ulcers before you take her shopping. It's not that difficult.

Why didn't your Gran have food in if she is diabetic - if she is struggling why aren't you helping?

maplesyruppancakes · 14/06/2017 21:41

What are you hoping to complain about?

Your grandmother has shown on three separate occasions that she is not housebound.

The DN service is very stretched already with the growing number of elderly and increase in community services. Your grandmother does not need a DN home visit because she is not housebound and has even managed to walk independently to the shops.

Instead of complaining you and your family need to help her to get to her surgery for treatment or encourage her to take taxis if a lift is not always possible. You are being hugely unreasonable.

FavouriteWasteofSlime · 14/06/2017 21:52

Thing is OP, you think they should come in the morning as your grandmother can only go shopping in the afternoon.

How many other patients do you think they see in a day? What if every patient asked if the nurses could come at a certain time because of x y z, they would never see anybody! It's not just about your grandmother I'm afraid.

YogiYoni · 14/06/2017 21:57

I need to know what tidy crotch was an autocorrect for!

RainbowPastel · 14/06/2017 22:13

She clearly isn't housebound if she manages to get to shopping and the hairdressers.

My auntie is a district nurse. She works from 8-7 to fit all her patients in. She doesn't eat/drink/pee all day as she doesn't have time.

District nurses are for people in genuine need.

cluelessnewmum · 14/06/2017 22:18

As many others have said she's not housebound, particularly if she can walk to the shops to get food (!). Please don't waste valuable resources on an unsubstantiated complaint.

I understand she might be diabetic but did she seriously have no other food in the house if the nurse didn't come? If that's the case someone (you, if you're the closest relative) should organise a weekly online supermarket delivery so she's always got food supplies in.

putputput · 14/06/2017 22:35

As a former district nurse - when we arrive at a house of a housebound person and there's no answer we are then duty bound to find out where they are. They may well have fallen or worse.

So I would phone GP, local hospitals to check for admissions, attempt to phone their NOK, care agency, social services, check with neighbours. The next step would be contacting the police to gain entry. Bloody waste of time when someone has just 'popped out'.

FavouriteWasteofSlime · 14/06/2017 22:46

If you know your grandmother is diabetic and you know she has to wait in all day for the district nurses then it's you and your family's responsibility to ensure she has food in the house.

Beeziekn33ze · 14/06/2017 23:08

Waiting for an explanation of a tidy crotch!!
My neighbour had the opposite situation. In the weeks after having Orthopaedic surgery she had two separate district nurse visits , a different one each time. She was mobile before leaving hospital. The first removed stitches and the second checked her bp, dvt prevention etc. She was never bedridden or housebound.
Weeks later she had a phone call saying a dn had visited to check 'her skin' (for bedsores implied) and she wasn't in. By this time she was, as expected, back to an active life. She explained she was away from home for a few days at present and was intrusively asked where she was staying. The dn on the phone insisted that they had to check her skin and didn't seem to accept that she was not housebound (or senile!) so she reluctantly accepted an appointment. The dn who came agreed that the situation was ridiculous and a waste of NHS funds and removed my neighbour from the dn service's list. Why?!

Aeroflotgirl · 14/06/2017 23:39

Sorry but the NHS I stretched enough, District nurses are under a lot of pressure. They get there when they can, can you imagine if everyone had their own timetable, it would be Imposdible. Either she can get a taxi to get her legs treated or wait for when the nurse comes.

AntiHop · 15/06/2017 01:37

She might qualify for help with transport via dial a ride or taxi card.

Beeziekn33ze · 16/06/2017 16:03

In my area hospital appointments are not eligible for Ring and Ride. I was waiting for a taxi after physio when a physiotherapist noticed and asked why I wasn't using hospital transport, I didn't know that it was a possibility but after that I used it for a few weeks. The HP drivers are lovely people and won't drive off until you are back indoors, nor, of course, will they drop you off at the corner shop!

SamItal · 16/06/2022 18:48

I don't think its professional for the District Nurses to talk to patients like they are dirt. They don't need to be snotty. They should speak to patients in a professional manner & understand when patients are worried or upset.
I think are forgetting one thing - you are all paying or have paid for treatment under the NHS. ITS NOT FREE. The only reason it is struggling is because certain governments have been underfunding it. Slowly more & more services are being removed from the NHS because a certain govt stopped ring fencing the money for the NHS. You are losing more & more services & more products are being removed from the prescription service & you have to buy them privately, yet you pay the same amount in each pay day. Anything that is now privately bought by you at Chemists, is probably owned by a stockholder owned company which alot of MPs, especially from a certain party, like to own shares in. So removing them from the NHS & you buying them, is making some rich people even richer & you poorer.

Sirzy · 16/06/2022 18:53

The district nurses come to my Dad once a month to change his catheter. He knows that day to stay in as understandably they don’t give appointment times. Depending which nurse he will get a call beforehand so he can take some morphine ready!

his changes can take anything from 20 minutes to over an hour (and once wait for ambulance long!) so it would be impossible for them to predict for anything close to arrival time.

Queequeg07 · 16/06/2022 18:59


Choccyp1g · 16/06/2022 19:50

and we still don't know what the "tidy crotch" was all about.

Happyplace88 · 16/06/2022 19:53

YABVVVU. I’m a community healthcare worker. You can’t give a time, it’s just not possible to predict how long each visit will take. If your gran has transport to the shops and the hairdressers she isn’t housebound and can get to hospital. YABVU and entitled.

SherbertLemonDrop · 16/06/2022 20:01

My grandparents are both late 80s, one with alzheimers and incontinent and are both like this they can only go out if someone takes them as they can't walk far at all. They have a blue badge so we can park as close as possible to places. My nan can't even walk to the shop at the end of her road. Never thought of them as housebound. My next door neighbours housebound she can't physically leave her house even with help.

Peoniesandcream · 16/06/2022 20:25

This is a zombie thread

MistressOfWaves · 16/06/2022 20:31

It’s a zombie thread people

FLOWER1982 · 16/06/2022 20:41

Wow this brings back memories. I used to work in community nursing and we used to get people ringing in all the time asking what time the nurse is coming as they need to go out. You’re not bloody housebound then!

They really had no idea how busy the nurses are and that there were 1001 other patients that day that need to be seen. I’m sure they’d watch call the midwife and they were all sitting in the office drinking tea having a natter.

WhateverIdo · 16/06/2022 20:42

She walked to the shop? So she could walk to a bus stop?

Yes she needs to go to the surgery.

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