Spare room, 3 microwaved meals a day and conversation does not a substitute for care make!


Clive Bowman
– Residential Forum member, medical doctor and director, experienced NED and Chair in Health and Care comments on the proposed scheme to send patients recovering from operations in Southend hospital to
nearby homes where they would be put up in a spare room while they
recuperate.

The
“gig economy” is probably a lasting feature of how things happen and
for sure in health and care, many practitioners are ditching the onerous
responsibility that comes with being part of an accountable team with a
more flexible and remunerative life as an agency worker. So why not
extend that to convalescence.

Well here’s a starter question – who is the responsible person?

It
certainly won’t be hospital practitioners who don’t seem to have an
abundance of spare time and given the present fragility of primary care
it certainly won’t find enthusiasm there. To underscore that perspective when Intermediate care in care homes kicked off over a decade ago I
looked at the case-mix of orthopaedic cases and was surprised to find
upper limb fractures greatly outnumbering hip fractures. Whilst the
project was heralded a success the reality was that the hip fractures
were kept in the hospital by consultants concerned about outcomes both
from the patient perspective and their reputation whereas I think the
majority of upper limb fractures could have been managed at home.

Going
further back,  when training as gerontologist I found myself doing a
clinic that had no real medical purpose other than safeguarding (before
that term was used!) older people who were being cared for in the homes
of non-related people for financial gain. The reality was these
placements were unregulated and the clinic’s purpose was to hold the
carers to account!

So
an idea described as “interesting” (and I infer his use of the word is
not entirely literal) by Nigel Edwards is probably a non-starter or at
least an unnecessary distraction. Yes, it will be possible to fill beds
but probably with people who could almost certainly be either in their
own home or in a care facility.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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