Mr and Mrs Grey

Mrs Grey, aged 78, was referred to Promoting Independence by a Help Direct G.P. Advisor, on discharge from Royal Preston hospital after having a stroke. She had suffered short term memory loss and irreversible total loss of sight in her right eye, leaving only 40% sight in her left eye. She had a previous cardiovascular and stroke history.  She was being cared for by her husband Mr Grey.

Mr Grey was very unhappy about his wife’s treatment in hospital and aftercare, the main issue he felt was that her stroke had not been taken seriously bymedical staff, because his wife’s appearance looked normal. Despite having been diagnosed with the loss of sight, Mrs Grey’s hospital record had not beenamended on the ward and she had been left to attend to herself which she felt very distressed about. She had to wash and walk to the toilet herself, despite not being able to see where she was going.  Since being discharged from hospital a month ago Mr Grey had received one letter advising of a support visit from a visual impairment officer 3 months after the hospital stay.  Mr Grey appeared to be exhausted after totally caring for his wife and trying to ensure that she wouldn’t fall in the home.  Mrs Grey was distressed about her change in circumstances, and was having difficulties in coming to terms with being registered as blind.

As a result of the Promoting Independence visit, a telephone call was made to Social Services who advised that there was no record of Mrs Grey’s stay in hospital, and an urgent request was made for the duty officer to make contact. A referral was made to our Community Support and Information service for a benefit check and also carer support. Mr and Mrs Grey were given the contact details for Patient Advisory and Liaison Service (PALS) for their support should they wish to raise a complaint to the hospital.

The outcome was that an assessment for Mrs Grey was prioritised by SocialServices, and within 2 weeks equipment, bathroom equipment and stair rails had been installed.  An Enablement Officer had also visited and Mrs Grey was receiving help, on how to use equipment for the visually impaired and an Attendance Allowance form had also been completed.

Mrs Grey has regained more confidence and has restarted her knitting hobby as part of her recovery. She is also being given help on how to use a white stick. Mr Grey also appears less stressed and is accepting there is support available to help him to continue with his care role.

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