Earlier this week our helpline received a call from John* seeking advice about the palliative care his mother was receiving in a hospice. Unfortunately, his mother had been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and the medical team believed she only had a few weeks to live. At the time of this diagnosis, John was advised that it would be in his mother’s best interests to be moved from her home into a hospice for end of life care. That was nine weeks ago.
The hospice subsequently invited John to a meeting with senior management and medical staff when they informed him that they wished to move his mother into a care home as her bed was needed by another patient.
John felt bullied by the hospice team and stressed that his mother had all the symptoms of someone at the end of life. Eventually the hospice contacted him to tell him that they had agreed to extend his mother’s stay for 14 days.
John, who has his own medical conditions to deal with, is very distressed about the way his mother’s situation was dealt with at a very difficult time, and with the aggressive approach of the senior staff he met, one of whom is the medical director.
The hospice has since agreed to his request that his mother can remain there for up to five weeks, and has offered to pay for her move to a care home after that.
We initially advised John to report his experience of the hospice to the CQC. Unfortunately the hospice is not one that is inspected by them and therefore we offered to make a written referral to the CQC about the matter on his behalf. John readily agreed and we are currently awaiting their response. John will be keeping in touch with us until the situation is fully resolved.
*Name changed for privacy.
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