Mrs. K and Mr. D no longer live together, but she has Power of attorney over his affairs and supports his care needs due to his numerous health conditions including arthritis, mental ill-health, and dementia. Mrs. K is in her mid-60’s and Mr. D is in his late 70’s.
During 2019 and 2020 Mr. D’s health had deteriorated. He was due steroid injections in March 2020 to keep him mobile. She had attempted on numerous occasions to get him help from his GP at Grove Medical without success being told they weren’t doing them because of lockdown but they didn’t arrange for an alternative provision. Mr. D needs steroid injections whenever he feels pain and when he keeps falling. On average he needs the injections every four months. His legs were getting worse, and he kept falling over.
Mr. D spent 20 days in the hospital from 8 October to 29 October after many falls. They checked him out with x-rays and blood. The health professionals could not believe he had not been referred to the hospital about the state of his legs. The professionals emailed the GP about this as did Mrs. K. The surgery was also contacted by the social worker & ambulance service regarding his care. None of these communications made any difference.
A community nurse attends Mr. D for Depo injections every month and Mrs. K couldn’t understand why the GP felt he couldn’t do a home visit for the steroid injection.
Mrs. K had tried discussing Mr. D’s care with the surgery direct, asking the doctor to call her in November 2020. Eventually, when Dr. P Venkataramanan phoned her where she says, he shouted at her when she challenged him about his care of Mr. D. She reiterated that Mr. D kept falling and he needed the injections to keep moving. The GP’s response was that he had other Mr. D’s as well to care for, ‘why does she not put him in a care home’? He then told her he would not be coming out to carry out the injection. She was shocked by his reaction causing her upset and raised blood pressure.
By December 2020 and after many falls, Mrs. K took Mr. D and saw another doctor at the practice. Unfortunately, due to so many falls, the GP couldn’t give him the injection as there was an injury to his knee. He made a referral to the hospital on 1 December 2020 for his arthritis which came through with a date for late April 2021.
A complaint was submitted via NHS England as Mrs. K felt she had been unable to make her voice heard when contacting the surgery. NHS England contacted the practice and asked them to provide a resolution. Mr. D finally had the steroid injection in April 2021 although his son had to take him, which isn’t easy.
Mrs. K says that Mr. D finally got his injection to his knee only with the intervention of the Advocate and complaint to NHS England. However, the failure of a referral some years ago for his arthritis, issues with getting the steroid injections, and many falls, means that the deterioration of his knees has gone too far gone to operate.
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