"Portlaoise Hospital and Glenfield Care organisation"

About: Midland Regional Hospital

(as a relative),

I have been dealing with issues relating to my brother’s care for the past two years, since he was admitted to Portlaoise hospital after being in A&E. My brother has been in and out of hospitals for the past 18 years, this current admission two years ago is one of his longest spells.

Last year he was offered to go to a care organisation in Glenfield, discharged from hospital into a more community setting. However, this was withdrawn as the care organisation said they could not take him with the medication he was taking. My brother’s medication was changed, although he had asked for his medication to be reduced not changed. The doctor however changed the medication, the side effects of which was increased aggression, because of this the care organisation were unable to take him. I asked for my brother to be taken off this medication, but this was refused.

Throughout this time, I have liaised with the care organisation with a view to understanding how and when my brother could be discharged from hospital into care. I was assured they would be able to take my brother once his medication had been sorted.

However, my brother’s solicitor then received a letter, from my brother’s doctor, stating that the care organisation had refused to take my bother. It suggested a categoric refusal not conditional. My parents were told that a doctor working at this care organisation knew my brother, this was the excuse for not being able to take him.

Another care organisation became involved, they took my brother on a few trips out of the hospital which led to my brother becoming determined to become independent and to not go into care. The new care organisation said they were unable to take him on his current medication – that’s how the hospital justified not sending him to this new care organisation. The medication affects his autism making him less compliant and his behavior generally.

More recently my parents and I have been waiting to see if he will ever be discharged from hospital. The medication also makes him sleep almost all day, waking up at 6/7pm for a couple of hours to eat etc, then he goes to sleep again.

My brother’s doctor was reviewing the situation, we were all upset, especially my brother, when a nurse suggested to him that he would be out of hospital by Christmas. I was invited to meet his doctor, I knew they had meetings each Wednesday and although I attended I was too wound up to participate.

I was given contradictory information about the funding for the care organisation, I was told that there was funding available for my brother to go into care once his medication had been reassessed, but this was contradicted by the doctor who stated the funding available was only to have my brother assessed by the care organisation in Glenfield.

At one meeting with the doctor he asked me what the care organisation ah agreed to do for my brother. I told him they would start by taking him out during the day and would gradually increase this to arranging overnight stays away from the hospital to rehabilitate him. The doctor asked me the same question in exactly the same words three times. He then asked me whether I would expect to stay with my brother if the care organisation had accommodation for him. There has never been any suggestion that I would stay with my brother so was very surprised to be asked this now.

In early December my mother had a call to say the new care organisation had funding to accommodate my brother. Our hopes were raised, only to be let down.

After Christmas my brother, at a meeting with his doctor, was asked lots of questions, assessing him. At some point he was also told by the doctor that he would be out of hospital in the New Year. A few days later we were told that this was not the case and that what the doctor was doing was to have another larger care organisation assess him. This most recent care organisation is building a new facility that will be able to take people like my brother.

However, with all the delays, contradictory information we have been given and reluctance to review his medication to enable him to be discharged we have no point of trust any longer.

 

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