Family's anger as 82-year-old woman with Alzheimer's is discharged from hospital without their knowledge

LIVID: Mike Fish

LIVID: Mike Fish

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN 82-year-old woman who suffers from Alzheimer’s was taken home from hospital in her dressing gown without her children’s knowledge — and hospital bosses only informed her husband, who is profoundly deaf.

Mike Fish has made an official complaint after his mother, who was admitted to Fairfield Hospital after unwittingly taking a week’s worth of her husband’s pills, arrived home unexpectedly.

Mr Fish, aged 47, of Walshaw Road, Bury, said the family informed the hospital to contact either himself or his sister, Glynis Hardman, aged 61, or his brother Peter Fish, aged 55.

His father is “profoundly deaf” and cannot hear people on the phone, and relies on lip reading when speaking to people face-to-face.

When Mr Fish’s mother arrived home on the morning of February 10 after spending eight days in hospital, he says it was a “complete surprise” to his father, and that it was lucky that the ambulance driver managed to wake him up so she could return home.

Mr Fish said: “I was livid. I phoned the hospital and tried to find out who had authorised her release.

“When I asked the hospital why they did that, they said they had phoned my dad, who is deaf. The social services team at Fairfield said they would do an assessment of her care needs and would contact us to do the assessment with the family and let her come home.

“She was home at 8.30am in her nightie without any word to me or my sister, and it was freezing outside. My dad said she was like ice.”

Mr Fish said it was not the first time there had been a breakdown in commun-ications with the hospital, and that past appointments had gone awry due to the hospital calling his father.

He added: “There is a lack of communication.

“It seems no matter how many times they ring my dad and we tell them he is deaf, they still ring my dad.”

A spokesman for the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Our nursing staff are currently working with Mrs Fish’s daughter, Mrs Hardman, to have the medical records amended so that she is the named next of kin and the person who is contacted in instances like this one when Mrs Fish is discharged.

“The trust would like to apologise to Mrs Fish and her family for any inconvenience caused on this occasion. Our staff were working with Mrs Fish’s best interests in mind by arranging a safe and speedy discharge home.”

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