NHS Convalescence in the 21st Century

The reason I needed my laptop so desperately was that I urgently needed to research where I would be going when I was discharged from the hospital.

My grandmother had a hysterectomy back in the 1980’s and after being discharged she spent some six weeks at a convalescent home, and I foolishly imagined that some such help would be available to me; as I was not sure how I would cope living in Thebus after such major surgery as a radical hysterectomy.

Knowing the operation was booked I had started asking what options might be available to me when I had been unexpectedly admitted after my visit to the consultant in January.  I have to say in hindsight the answers to my questions were evasive; saying that nothing could be done until my operation was over and I had been given a discharge date.

But now my operation was over.  I seemed to be recovering well and I expected to be discharged fairly soon, so began to renew my enquires.  That was why I desperately needed my laptop.

Basically there seemed to be no convalescence available and, as far as I was informed, few other options available.  I was asked if I was computer literate and advised that my best option would be to search on the internet myself, and given a gateway site – which in fact seemed to contain little relevant information.   A social worker called and gave me a piece of paper with some pencilled suggestions, including a bed and breakfast address in Gloucester Docks and the local Travelodge.  But one thing did emerge from our conversation and that was that, if I had funds, I would be required to contribute to the costs of any care.  When I pressed to know to what extent, it transpired that I would be required to pay any costs in full.

I phoned a few care homes.  The cheapest was £450 a week but that was sharing a room with a dementia patient, and the dearest was £2,350 a week plus extras!  And I must say I felt neither was suitable!

Thinking it through I felt my best option would be a comfortable hotel in a smallish town and having some knowledge of the area decided on Malvern as a good place as any to spent the next few weeks. But of course I still hadn’t been given a discharge date, so could do nothing about booking up.

On Friday morning the doctors visited the ward on their rounds, examined me and said everything was looking okay and I would be discharged later in the day!!!

Brother Mike having only delivered my laptop the evening before I had not had time to do any research and was hardly in a position to book, pack and arrange to get from Cheltenham to Malvern, and as yet had no idea where I would be staying when I got there!

 

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