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Discharging yourself from hospital? - Carers UK Forum

Discharging yourself from hospital?

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My wife is desperate to come home from hospital, she's been there since 3rd Feb. I'm quite looking forward to having her home too.

The hospital are ready to let her go, although the OT dept want her to have a care package in place at home before she goes.

Social services were invited to a meeting on 4.4.18 but they didn't show. The delegated social worker made an appointment to see my wife and myself at the hospital on 19.418 but called two hours beforehand to cancel. I had to phone a few days later to initiate something and the meeting to arrange a care package took place on 25.4.18.

I've just spoken with the SW this morning, (cos she phoned me to say very little except that she was working on it). I asked her how long before it was arranged and ready to go and she couldn't say.

When I said, "are we talking days, or weeks" she said it was going to be a couple of weeks, there seemed to be an unsaid "at least" on the end of that.

I'm now thinking of just telling the hospital that I'm taking my wife home, and the carers can turn up (or not) whenever. Neither my wife nor I really want carers nor do we believe that we really need them, and we certainly don't want to start paying for them in a few weeks time. We have a hoist for transfers when necessary and I've been shown how to use it.

The one minor fly in the ointment is that the District Nurse has to be arranged for catheter maintenance (and possibly supplies, I can't remember the details on that) but I think the hospital arranges that on discharge.

Is there any good reason that I shouldn't do this?
I wouldn't recommend taking her out of hospital without approval. However I WOULD contact the Chief Executive and ask why they are not getting this all done asap because the bed is surely needed by someone else.
I believe I'm right in thinking that unless someone has been sectioned, or is under arrest, or is restrained by DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty), then each and every one of us has the legal right to discharge ourselves from hospital, even if we are at death's door!

(In the case of a minor, the child might be made a ward of court or whatever, to prevent parents removing them against medical advice - remember that little boy with cancer whose parents were forbidden to take him to Germany to have the treatment that was not available at that time in the UK? They kidnapped their own child and fled abroad, with the police in hot pursuit of these callous criminals....)(Ok, that was a case of the medics being WRONG, and the parents RIGHT about whether it was worth attempting the non-available-in-the-UK treatment)

If we DO discharge ourselves against medical advice (assuming your wife is Compos Mentes and has legal capacity etc), then I guess we have to sign a form for the hospital protecting them against subsequent complaints that the discharge was unsafe, but that seems only reasonable.
bowlingbun wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 12:04 pm
I wouldn't recommend taking her out of hospital without approval. However I WOULD contact the Chief Executive and ask why they are not getting this all done asap because the bed is surely needed by someone else.
Would that be the chief executive of the hospital, or social services?

jenny lucas wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 3:14 pm

I believe I'm right in thinking that unless someone has been sectioned, or is under arrest, or is restrained by DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty), then each and every one of us has the legal right to discharge ourselves from hospital, even if we are at death's door!


If we DO discharge ourselves against medical advice (assuming your wife is Compos Mentes and has legal capacity etc), then I guess we have to sign a form for the hospital protecting them against subsequent complaints that the discharge was unsafe, but that seems only reasonable.
I'm in no doubt that any normal person can discharge themselves from hospital. My wife has passed their psychologists cognitive tests, (I don't know how as she does have some problems in that area) so to all intents and purposes she is compos mentis.

Another spanner thrown in the works today, they're now thinking of a trial with a Baclofen pump. If I was a bit more paranoid I might consider that a delaying tactic.

One other self imposed objection that we've thought of today is that she might need further botox injections in her knee, I dare-say that her GP can arrange that if necessary, but I'd rather stay on good terms with the hospital in case it's required.

I've now got to go and do some reading of the *Care Act*, cos I'm fairly sure that SS are meant to fit into my wife's timetable rather than the other way around
Try both!
bowlingbun wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 4:51 pm
Try both!
Ha Ha! :D (Maybe).

The Baclofen pump changes the situation a bit though, it's going to take a couple of days to set up a trial and then it has to be monitored for a few days. (Still not paranoid). :unsure:

(I'm finding the Care Act a bit of a minefield, given up on that for this evening now).
I'd put pressure on the hospital and social services but I wouldn't advocate self discharge.
Just looked up those pumps, it's certainly worth a try, but clearly she needs to be in hospital at the start.
bowlingbun wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:15 am
Just looked up those pumps, it's certainly worth a try, but clearly she needs to be in hospital at the start.
I think she's resigned herself to another couple of weeks now, but I think I'm going to have to pester the SW now and again.

It didn't help that on Wednesday this week they made another home visit to try out/demonstrate the hoist, (which had already been sat here unused for eight days). It's quite cruel when she's ready to come home and the only thing preventing that is waiting for the care package that we don't want.

The Baclofen pump didn't enter the equation until yesterday morning. The pumps do look worth a try, in theory you get a different (usually more efficient) effect on pain relief from when it's taken in tablet form, (in tablet form the blood and brain conspire to prevent some of the pain relief effects - I'd have to read the notes again to give you a more precise explanation but that's the gist of it).
A new development this morning: I had a phone call from the SW to say that a discharge date of 16th May had been agreed and the carers will make a first visit soon after my wife is home.

It's difficult to explain how I feel, but there's a huge weight gone from my shoulders that I hadn't realised was there.