Concerns about discharging an elderly man from hospital

A woman rang the Inquiry Service, concerned that her elderly father, who had recently had heart surgery, was going to be discharged from a small rural hospital because the doctor was going away. She said that her father lived by himself in a remote area. She was concerned that her father could not look after himself and that the family was not available to look after him.

The Inquiry Officer asked the woman whether she had spoken to the doctor. She said that she had called a nurse at the hospital who promised that someone would call her, but nobody did.

The Inquiry Officer called the hospital and spoke to the head nurse. The nurse said that the hospital was trying to arrange an assessment by the Aged Care Team, but that this could take a long time. The doctor had said the father was fit for discharge and could perform light domestic duties. However, if the Aged Care Team could conduct a prompt assessment, the hospital might be able to keep the father there. The nurse said that she would call the woman directly to explain the situation.

The hospital subsequently advised the woman that the Aged Care Team assessment had been done and that her father was able to stay in hospital.

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