Lanarkshire pensioner ‘left to rot’ in hospital as council unable to offer homecare package
The wife of a pensioner with dementia and Parkinson’s disease said her husband was ‘left to rot’ in a Lanarkshire hospital because the local council could not offer him home care.
Archie Finlayson, 79, was admitted to Udston Hospital in Hamilton on March 24, for 28 days, with doctors believing it was in his best interests to receive short-term psychiatric care.
Doctors were happy with his improvement and Archie was due to be discharged on June 13 so he could return home to Carstairs, where he lives with his wife Roberta, 78.
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But the family were told just days before he was to return home that Archie could not be discharged from hospital until a proper care plan was in place.
Heartbroken Roberta, who regularly makes a 40-mile trip to visit Archie, says South Lanarkshire Council said the care scheme could not be put in place due to a shortage of carers.
She told the Daily recording: “Archie has been left to rot in hospital because the council do not know when they will be able to find a carer.
“The council said no carers were available and they had contracted out the work but no one had taken it over. He’s heartbroken that he can’t come home – so am I.
“He will have to wait and stay in hospital until a care package is available. Archie has been desperate to get home for weeks and he is really upset. I even phoned two private companies, but they can’t help me.”
The pensioner has to travel an hour and a half to see Archie. With rising petrol prices, she now spends twice as much on fuel as before – with her average weekly cost now at £60.
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Roberta has offered to look after her husband of 41 years in the meantime with the help of his family, but his request has been refused as he requires professional care four times a day.
She added, “Because Archie has dementia, it’s quite distressing and disturbing for him. We’re just desperate to get him home.”
Soumen Sengupta, director of health and social care at South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Our social care services continue to face significant pressure – and we recognize this can impact on individuals and families in ways none of us would like.
“The demand for home care services in particular is particularly high and currently exceeds capacity – a situation that is happening across Scotland.
“We are unable to comment on individual cases, but we are working closely with our colleagues at the hospital to try to ensure that patients go home when they are clinically ready. In each case, we do everything possible. our best to ensure the most appropriate package is in place as soon as practically possible.
“We have made great progress in recent months in reducing our levels of delayed discharge – I continue to appreciate the support and patience of our communities for the tireless work that our social care and health care staff do in their name.”
NHS Lanarkshire declined to comment.