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Urgent advice needed - Carers UK Forum

Urgent advice needed

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
I have been a carer for my husband for over 26 yrs of marriage, and for the last 15 yrs my children [who are now grown but still live at home] have been caring for my husband who has Bi Polar and also had a heart attack 6 yrs ago, he also has a mal functioning heart valve and on various meds, and an enlarged prostrate, recently it was detected that my husbands kidneys were failing unless he came off of Lithium [Priadel] and put on something else, they have chosed Depakote, he has got ill in the process and hes in hospital now. But tomorrow the consultant want to discharge him, I don't agree with this as he is still dislutional, and Jesus thoughts and his power of thought is making him anxious, and irrational etc I am disabled too and I cannot cope with him like this. He also has to be reduced on some other meds too, and this would mean some jiggling with his meds.

We had a change of CPN [community phscychiatric [sp] nurse a few months ago as the last one went onto other avenues of work,. She does not take my caring role into account and after 5 weeks of my hubby being in hospital and kicking up a fuss the consulant finally agreed to see me. But all she did was talk, talk and talk and didn't listen, pulling her rank of being a consultant of 'knowing best' what is for my husband,. she is soooooo wrong.
The CPN just sat there. I asked her if she thought that Barrie [my hubby] was fit enough to go home, she said yes, I could look after him [meaning me] and I asked her if she thought my comments mattered, she said no, shes only there for Barrie and has no duty towards me. The last CPN was very understanding and took my suggestions on board. This one, she practically ignores me.

TOMORROW they want to look at discharging my husband, I oppose this.

I tried to get an advocate but hes on holiday, how can I handle this meeting when the consultant is so rooted in her own assessment of my husband and not mine.?

The CPN just sat there. I asked her if she thought that Barrie [my hubby] was fit enough to go home, she said yes, I could look after him [meaning me] and I asked her if she thought my comments mattered, she said no, shes only there for Barrie and has no duty towards me.
This is clearly wrong. Certainly it goes against all notions of good practice. If you are saying you cannot cope with him at home, they must be made to listen. One thing you do have is a legal right to a seperate carers assessment, that takes into account your needs as a carer. Whether this will achieve anything I cannot say but at least it would force their hand to look at your needs. Once you ask for it they must do it.

You can find out more about the carers assessment here
http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Hel ... smentguide

But to be honest I would say you need to get some proper advice and quickly, I'm afraid I'm not an expert. Hopefully some of the carers on this forum can help.

You should also try ]0845 766 0163[/b] Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Phone calls from the UK are charged at local rates. They say they give legal information on mental health issues so they may be a good place to start.

Also Rethink have an advice team
Rethink National Advice Service, please call 020 8974 6814. The Service is available from Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm, except Tuesday and Thursday 10am - 1pm
Hi Sue,

The hospital have a duty to assess whether all is okay at home before they discharge your hubby.If you state you cant cope they cant send him home.
Others here will have some advice but you have several immediate options...

Say no and stick to it.I know it must be so difficult for you to do this.

Contact the social worker based in the hospital and put your case forward.

Enquire if the hospital has a PALS service,which if you dont know it is, Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS),they provide information, advice and support to help patients, families and their carers.

You could also contact your own social services team so it is on record that you are saying you cannot cope.

In the meantime,make notes of each conversation you have whether it be in person or on the phone.Make a note of their names and department.

I am so sorry you have this to deal with .

x x x

Thank you so much for your prompt responses, I have tried to contact the liason service but the man dealing with it is on holiday [isn't this always the case? ]
I have this very morning asked for my GP to ring me in her lunch time or the end of the day, I feel maybe she might be able to put my needs over? it could help perhaps? what do you think?

I handed over to the nursing staff yesterday a lovely hand written paper to add to my husbands notes,I took this from the care uk site and the right of the carer and that some proffessionals do not even understand what they do for the pateints THEY have a duty of care too.

I am a strong woman when dealing with matters, and I WILL be heard LOL......however, I don't want it to be where we are logging horns, I don't want a fight.

i feel that carers and medics should be working together for the care of the person each party is taking care of, and learn from each other instead of pulling rank,.........so what if a consultant has knowledge and experience, I respect that, I understand that and adhere to it and listen to it, however, I won't be pushed aside as a 'nobody'

This has been worring me for 4 days now and I am even eating, sleeping and dreaming it.......i must become destressed, I must become destressed..........

Oh gee, sometimes if its not enough to care for a loved one, you get other obstacles too
Sue, the National Service Framework for Mental Health (1999) - Chapter 6 - refers to the need to support the carer too. They have an absolute duty to consider your needs: if they do not listen to you tomorrow, you can inform them that you are not willing to care for your husband and that as they have stated he needs your care, they will have to find a package of care to support him that does not include you.

If this does not work, you could always ask to speak to the Clinical Director (and if that doesn't work, the Chief Executive) of the hospital to raise concerns about they way in which they flout all government policy, and law, on supporting carers. If they refuse (almost certainly they will) - use your mobile to call the local media. When you ask for the "news desk" they may change their minds.

It's called using the reasonable approach - and when that doesn't work, go through all of the escalation stages until you find one that has an effect! It works best if you can stay calm. And make sure you take someone with you - a friend, anyone - as a witness to how reasonably you have behaved.
Sue, you have my sympathy.

I had my morning planned today, but then we had problems with the flat where my younger son took up tenancy today. The electric was not working. Something small,and as the flat is a council one, no problem, you would think. I spent the next four hours being passed from pillar to post( my son had to sit in a cold flat, waiting for the Gas maintenence engineer to call, and of course when he turned up , he could do nothing, as they needed electric too!)

I was pulling my hair out, when I thought, "right, I will write an e-mail to the Head of Social care and Housing".I promptly did this,titled it emergency, and said that I would go to the media if it was not dealt with. My son has had a visit this afternoon from the Mental Health Team, a phone call from them, and a phone call from His CPN, who I was told was on a day off!

THe electric supply was dealt with easily, with reliable advice from another tenant, not from the council.All of this could have been avoided if my son had been supported into his flat, instead of relying on him to do it himself, which, with his known history of depression, he could not have done.

My sister, daughter and myself have missed out on a walk, and I have missed out on a morning away from my caring duties.