Demand for action as medically-fit patient stuck in Portsmouth hospital for 26 days

Jack Lovelock has been stuck at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham for more than three weeks despite being medically fit to leave the hospital
Jack Lovelock has been stuck at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham for more than three weeks despite being medically fit to leave the hospital
St James' Hospital, in Milton, has mental health services run by Solent NHS Trust.
 Picture: Sarah Standing (150538-1024)

CQC says mental health is at ‘crossroads’ while Portsmouth provider is adapting services

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CALLS have been made for action as a patient declared medically fit 26 days ago is still languishing in hospital.

Jack Lovelock, 58, was admitted to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, after his emphysema deteriorated.

Three days after his admission on April 12, his twice-a-day visit by carers to his home was cancelled.

Despite being told by doctors on April 16 he could be discharged, save for a care plan being put in place, he is still a patient at QA Hospital as the county council has not agreed a new care plan.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Lovelock said: ‘I feel I’m being kept here against my will and there’s hundreds of people here who are.

‘When you’re ill and get over it you want to get out.’

Mr Lovelock, who also suffers from COPD, fears if he leaves hospital now he will simply be back unwell again as he needs carers’ help.

Hampshire County Council will not see him as a priority to arrange care if he leaves the hospital, he added.

Mr Lovelock, of Chapelside Titchfield, said: ‘The moment you go out the door everybody washes their hands of you.

‘If you’re in here while you’re unwell they will sort it out as they need the beds.’

Action has now been demanded by politicians.

Tory MP candidate for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt said a free pilot scheme devised by a GP to remove all ‘administrative burden on getting care organised’ should soon be in place.

She said: ‘Long stays in hospital are bad for patients’ wellbeing and also create admission problems.

‘For the last 18 months we have suggested a local solution to this for QA, which we pitched to both the Department of Health and QA, and hopefully they will pilot soon.’

Ms Mordaunt added: ‘I would urge them to try this at the earliest occasion.’

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, city councillor and Lib Dem Portsmouth South MP candidate, said the St James’ Hospital site in Milton should be used a convalescent home.

‘Particularly with elderly patients, 10 days in hospital takes people 10 months to recover,’ he said.

He added: ‘When we’ve been talking to QA they said they would be very interested in buying places at St James’ because it’s so much cheaper.

Mr Lovelock has also complained after refusing to be moved around wards.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, said: ‘Patient safety, dignity and the quality of care is the highest priority for the hospital trust.’

A county council spokeswoman said: ‘We are very sorry to hear that Mr Lovelock has been unable to return home as quickly as he would have liked. Patients can be delayed in hospital for a variety of reasons which may include taking time to agree what support they may need.’

Bed-blocking issue highlighted as inspectors launch two-day probe into leadership at city’s hospital

THE news of the latest bed-blocking patient problems come as a watchdog launched a short-notice inspection.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) were in Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, yesterday and on Wednesday.

They were probing leadership at the city hospital, following the departure of former chief executive Ursula Ward in May last year.

‘CQC can confirm inspectors are undertaking a short-noticed announced focused inspection of Queen Alexandra Hospital at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust over May 10 and 11,’ a CQC spokesman said.

‘A report detailing the findings of our inspection will be published in June.’

Last year the A&E department management and leadership was heavily criticised by the CQC when it was rated as inadequate.

Overall the hospital has the rating of requires improvement, with intensive and critical care rated as outstanding.

On Sunday a doctor’s tweet went viral after including a picture of 16 ambulances queueing at the hospital.

Across the country there have been 41,168 days of delays in transferring patients due to the patient awaiting a care package in their own home.

That figure, for the 12 months to March 2017, is up from 13,868 in the 12 months to March 2011. The GMB Union has pointed the finger at government funding cuts.

Rehana Azam, national secretary, said: ‘These shocking new figures show that health and social care is not on the brink – it is already beyond the point of crisis.

‘Missed targets, pay cuts, valued staff fleeing in droves, hospitals on black alert – they’re all telling us the same thing: our NHS is chronically underfunded and cannot cope.’

Trust-level data was not published yesterday.