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No Suitable Home For Brain Injured Gran, 82- Now Hospital Wants To Evict Her

November 29, 2013

This is so upsetting. Is it even legal for NHS hospitals to do this?

A frail 82-year-old woman has been served with an eviction notice in hospital where she has been since suffering a brain injury nine months ago.

Relatives of Joan Parker have spoken of their outrage after a senior NHS manager last week issued her with a letter telling her she had seven days to leave the hospital.

The drastic measure was taken by hospital bosses after the great-grandmother became embroiled in a merry-go-round with the local council, which has failed to relocate her to a sheltered home.

The widowed pensioner suffered a brain injury in a fall at her home in February and now requires a warden-patrolled flat which can meet her medical needs.

She was declared medically fit by doctors in June but has been trapped in the hospital for months because council officials have failed to find her appropriate accommodation.

The bed-blocking situation is all the more painful for Mrs Parker because she herself worked as a warden at a sheltered housing block for most of her working life.

Last week the chief operating officer of the hospital served her with a letter telling her to leave her bed within seven days.

Eviction: The letter Mrs Parker received from the hospital asking her to leave within seven days

Eviction: The letter Mrs Parker received from the hospital asking her to leave within seven days. She was so enraged that she tore it up

Her son David, 49, said: ‘He could have posted it to us or even called us, but no. Instead, he decided to serve it directly on a frail 82-year-old lady while she was all alone in her hospital room.

‘I think that is as callous as it gets. Mum, to her credit, tore the letter in half there and then and gave it back to him.’

He continued: ‘The options are very limited. My mum wants to remain as independent as she can.

‘She doesn’t want to go into a care home, she wants sheltered housing. We are at a point of crisis – Mum is homeless as of tomorrow.  We are desperate and on every waiting list we can be on.’

Mr Parker added that because he lives in a split-level house, occupational health workers have deemed it unsuitable for his mother.

Mrs Parker’s ordeal began when she fell at her two-storey home in Milton Keynes, Bucks., in February this year and suffered a brain injury.

Doctors cleared her as medically fit to leave hospital in June but she didn’t leave because council housing officers failed to find her a suitable home to meet her needs.

This led to Darren Leech, chief operating officer at Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, serving the OAP with a letter stating that she must leave by tomorrow.

Mr Parker called the chain of events ‘a living nightmare’ and spoke of the ‘deep irony’ that his mother had worked in a sheltered home for the elderly for most of her life.

‘In the last nine months I have made hundreds of phone calls and sent thousands of emails but we still can’t find poor old mum a home,’ he said.

‘Initially, the hospital should have done more to help but thereafter the council has been an absolute nightmare to deal with.

‘They are trying to drag it out to the bitter end; it’s just pathetic. Poor old mum is having to go through the stress and discomfort of all of this and at 82 years, she deserves better than this.

‘The irony in all of this is that mum spent most of her working life as a warden in sheltered housing caring for the elderly and now she can’t get the help that she so desperately needs.’

The notice, served on November 22, makes it clear that Mrs Parker has until tomorrow to leave the hospital.

Mr Parker said this would leave her homeless after she sold her old house with the intention of using £40,000 pounds from the sale to fund her future nursing care.

Mrs Parker herself said: ‘I did offer to buy sleeping bags and sleep outside the hospital. It is making me cross.’

The typed letter from Mr Leech – featuring an NHS-backed ‘We Care’ logo at the bottom of the page – said: ‘I understand that there is some dispute between you and the council as to your entitlement and the type of accommodation they can offer you.

‘Whilst this is an unfortunate situation, you cannot remain in an acute hospital bed indefinitely as has been discussed with you and your family members on previous occasions.’

The eviction notice on NHS headed paper reads: ‘We are concerned about you remaining in hospital when there is no acute clinical need.  We believe that this will be detrimental to your health and wellbeing generally.

‘You do not need to be in hospital and the hospital cannot afford to provide accommodation to persons who do not need to be in hospital.’

Mrs Parker’s family said Milton Keynes Council had offered her three properties – a flat in Netherfield, a bedsit in Newport Pagnell and sheltered bedsit in Woburn Sands.

Relatives said none was suitable for Mrs Parker – which was a view shared by psychologists and occupational therapists at the hospital.

Mr Parker said: ‘We are not being fussy. All we want is a little flat in a sheltered house scheme where mum can feel safe.’

A spokesman for Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We are planning to discharge Mrs Parker because she is medically fit and no longer needs to be in hospital.’

A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council said: ‘We know that Mrs Parker has been through a difficult time andwe have been working with the family to meet Mrs Parker’s housing need.

We remain absolutely committed to ensuring that Mrs Parker has a new home to go to when she has to leave the hospital, and she will have a further similar selection of sheltered housing to choose from including a formal offer made this week for a flat in Woburn Sands.

‘If Mrs Parker does not wish to live in any of the council sheltered properties from the selection offered, she will have independent financial means from the sale of her own home and we would be happy to assist her to find a suitable alternative in the private sector.’

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2013 12:00 pm

    yet again failings in the state to provide goog help thosecoming behind has every yearthey cut the welfare bill jeff3

  2. August 24, 2015 4:08 pm

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

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