DISTRAUGHT: Blackburn man in battle to stop wife going into nursing home

This Is Lancashire: A family photo shows Richard McDermott with his wife in Royal Blackburn Hospital A family photo shows Richard McDermott with his wife in Royal Blackburn Hospital

A DISTRAUGHT husband has vowed to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to get his bedridden wife of 58 years home from hospital.

Richard McDermott is at loggerheads with health bosses over the care of Edith, 77, who has been in Royal Blackburn since suffering a stroke in September.

She has lost the use of her left arm and leg, and can no longer sit up on her own. She is fed through a tube in her stomach and requires constant care, Mr McDermott said.

The 82-year-old has been told by medical staff she needs 24-hour care by qualified staff at a care home.

But he believes she should be looked after at home and has said he will fight legal proceedings launched in order to move her into residential care.

The former airman and BAE engineer, who lives in the Accrington Road area of Blackburn, said: “I will fight to the end. If I have to go to the European Court of Human Rights, I will do it.

“I will fight tooth and nail. I will go to Strasbourg, I’m not worried.”

Mrs McDermott, who raised sons Richard and Gary and daughter Alison with her husband, was in good health until she took ill last year.

After complaining of pins and needles in the arm while shopping at Asda, in Lower Audley Retail Park, she was taken to hospital for a scan.

Mr McDermott said she was kept in, before being moved to another ward in October, where she has remained because she suffered a stroke.

“She has not moved out of that ward since she went in there. If anything, she is deteriorating,” he said.

“It’s pathetic to stand by the bed and look at her. I have had to take her rings off in case they are stolen, and she has no dentures in.

“She looks a first class mess and I’m not too big to say so. She has been lying in a bed staring at a ceiling for 10 months.”

Mr McDermott said he has held several meetings with nurses, consultants, and social services at the hospital about the future care of his wife.

He said: “The tone of the meetings seemed to change from her going home to her going in a nursing home. I made it clear every time they brought it up that it’s my wife’s wish to go home. This went on until six weeks ago.

“I went for another meeting and the district nurse came down. She arranged to see me at the house, and said we will have her home for the Wednesday.

“I was over the moon. Things were going right at last.

“Then I get a call the day before asking if I would go for a meeting at the hospital.

“The family doctor was there, insisting she goes to a nursing home. Now they say they want fully qualified nurses and she needs 24 hour care. They are trying to say she does not have the mental capacity to make that decision herself.”

Mr McDermott said medical equipment, such as a specialist bed, had been delivered to his home and set up in the corner alongside a television, ready for his wife’s arrival.

He also said he had been on a training course to use the PEG Feeding System his wife uses, and said she is no longer ‘being treated for anything to do with the stroke’ in hospital.

He added: “The physios say she is unsafe in a wheelchair. I don’t believe them. I want a second opinion. The ward nurse said she will be in that condition until the day she passes.”

Mr McDermott said he met Edith when he was in a Manchester bar ‘immaculately dressed’ in the 1950s.

“This young whippersnapper came up to me and said, ‘do you not speak to anybody?’ “We got talking, and now we’ve been married for 58 years,” he said.

“We are two complete opposites, and that’s a good thing.”

He added: “I have no complaints about the nursing staff, they even call me Mac.”

Chris Pearson, chief nurse at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are unable to comment on Mr and Mrs McDermott’s current situation. Whilst we deeply sympathise with Mr McDermott, we are keeping him informed every step of the way.”

A spokeswoman for Blackburn with Darwen Council said social services had not been involved in the dispute, and declined to comment .

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:58am Wed 2 Jul 14

woolywords says...

Isn't this the same hospital, that only last week, was trotting out trite terms about respecting a patient or next-of-kin wishes, and here we are doing the 'Doctor knows best' routine.
I'd ask the hospital, to set out on paper, exactly what her needs are, to name the place where they intend to send this patient and a written undertaking for liability, if her needs aren't met. Watch them back-pedal faster than Bradley Wiggins can go forwards!
Few, if any, of the homes in this area, provide the care that they aspire to, as is shown by the new facility at Blackpool being built. They may wish for her to have 27/7 nursing care but some of us live in the real world and know the reality of what's out there; nothing of that kind.
This lady, through her husband, has expressed a wish that the medical staff appear hell-bent upon ignoring. They should acknowledge them, stop finding lame excuses to not acquiesce and instead treat her with proper dignity, by making a plan that works for all concerned.
Give 'em what for, Mac!
Isn't this the same hospital, that only last week, was trotting out trite terms about respecting a patient or next-of-kin wishes, and here we are doing the 'Doctor knows best' routine. I'd ask the hospital, to set out on paper, exactly what her needs are, to name the place where they intend to send this patient and a written undertaking for liability, if her needs aren't met. Watch them back-pedal faster than Bradley Wiggins can go forwards! Few, if any, of the homes in this area, provide the care that they aspire to, as is shown by the new facility at Blackpool being built. They may wish for her to have 27/7 nursing care but some of us live in the real world and know the reality of what's out there; nothing of that kind. This lady, through her husband, has expressed a wish that the medical staff appear hell-bent upon ignoring. They should acknowledge them, stop finding lame excuses to not acquiesce and instead treat her with proper dignity, by making a plan that works for all concerned. Give 'em what for, Mac! woolywords
  • Score: 48

11:28am Wed 2 Jul 14

ladysal says...

I have a sneaky suspicion that this situation is down to the GP. If he refuses to provide care, then the hospital is in a difficult position. The husband doesn't state who the "they" are that are insisting on qualified nurses to provide care. Maybe someone should ask the GP if he is prepared to pay for this lady's care in a nursing home. After all, financially, it is in the hospitals interest to discharge this lady home. Becuase her needs are medical, then the NHS would have to pay the Nursing Home fees.
I have a sneaky suspicion that this situation is down to the GP. If he refuses to provide care, then the hospital is in a difficult position. The husband doesn't state who the "they" are that are insisting on qualified nurses to provide care. Maybe someone should ask the GP if he is prepared to pay for this lady's care in a nursing home. After all, financially, it is in the hospitals interest to discharge this lady home. Becuase her needs are medical, then the NHS would have to pay the Nursing Home fees. ladysal
  • Score: 33

5:24pm Wed 2 Jul 14

woolywords says...

Not so, LadySal,
The NHS will only fund to a certain level, around £1200 per week, I heard. If she requires the levels of care being suggested here, then she is going to have to fund the difference, or rather Mac will. They'll go for their home, to make up the difference, trust me.
The days of the NHS caring for anyone, from cradle to grave, have long gone and successive governments have done nothing to redress this, from whatever party. As is shown in this shambles of an hospital trust and it's money-grabbing partners.
...
It won't be long before coffins leaving any hospital will be opened, to steal the pennies, that are supposed to pay the ferryman on the river Styxx!
Not so, LadySal, The NHS will only fund to a certain level, around £1200 per week, I heard. If she requires the levels of care being suggested here, then she is going to have to fund the difference, or rather Mac will. They'll go for their home, to make up the difference, trust me. The days of the NHS caring for anyone, from cradle to grave, have long gone and successive governments have done nothing to redress this, from whatever party. As is shown in this shambles of an hospital trust and it's money-grabbing partners. ... It won't be long before coffins leaving any hospital will be opened, to steal the pennies, that are supposed to pay the ferryman on the river Styxx! woolywords
  • Score: 17

10:00pm Wed 2 Jul 14

pwitch says...

Why haven't social services been involved? In East Lancashire hospitals they have a re-habilitation unit for stroke cases where a friend of ours went before going home. He had had a severe bleed on the brain and was also fed through the stomach wall for several weeks but is recovering even though its been a year since he had the stroke. Yes he is a lot younger than this lady, but her wishes should be respected and if her husband has done some training he is obviously prepared. It may also be cheaper to have a live-in nurse than to put her into a home.
Why haven't social services been involved? In East Lancashire hospitals they have a re-habilitation unit for stroke cases where a friend of ours went before going home. He had had a severe bleed on the brain and was also fed through the stomach wall for several weeks but is recovering even though its been a year since he had the stroke. Yes he is a lot younger than this lady, but her wishes should be respected and if her husband has done some training he is obviously prepared. It may also be cheaper to have a live-in nurse than to put her into a home. pwitch
  • Score: 16

11:39pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Steven11 says...

So basically it's all down to money.
So basically it's all down to money. Steven11
  • Score: 14

10:22am Thu 3 Jul 14

woolywords says...

Steven11 wrote:
So basically it's all down to money.
Each pay day, every worker makes a contribution towards National Insurance, for the day when they are going to retire or towards any medical bills that may arise along the way.
Trouble is, it was wrongly named, as the name suggests that it is some kind of insurance policy, like you get from the Co-op or man from the Pru', which it isn't.
There are just far too many people now, making a claim against it, for whatever reason and so it has to go. So in the next few years, NI will be merged in with Income Tax and disappear.
Of course, whenever the Government does something like this, it likes to sneak in an increase in contributions, so don't be surprised when that happens.
Not to wander to far off topic but it does have relevance here, in that putting Mrs Mac in a private care home will lessen the contribution that the NHS has to make towards her care, as it will become a battle of the bean counters of local authority and private sector, where both will be insisting that Mac sell his home, to pay for his wife's continuing care. So here we have a classic example of, how a couple have paid their premiums, for all those years and now, when it comes time to make a claim, the Insurers are dodging their liabilities. All in all, it's is a terrible indictment of how we, as a nation, treat our most vulnerable citizens and almost makes you ashamed to say that you are a Briton.
And where are our elected members, in all of this; are they leaping forth, to defend the rights of someone to choose their own way of doing things? The silence is deafening!
[quote][p][bold]Steven11[/bold] wrote: So basically it's all down to money.[/p][/quote]Each pay day, every worker makes a contribution towards National Insurance, for the day when they are going to retire or towards any medical bills that may arise along the way. Trouble is, it was wrongly named, as the name suggests that it is some kind of insurance policy, like you get from the Co-op or man from the Pru', which it isn't. There are just far too many people now, making a claim against it, for whatever reason and so it has to go. So in the next few years, NI will be merged in with Income Tax and disappear. Of course, whenever the Government does something like this, it likes to sneak in an increase in contributions, so don't be surprised when that happens. Not to wander to far off topic but it does have relevance here, in that putting Mrs Mac in a private care home will lessen the contribution that the NHS has to make towards her care, as it will become a battle of the bean counters of local authority and private sector, where both will be insisting that Mac sell his home, to pay for his wife's continuing care. So here we have a classic example of, how a couple have paid their premiums, for all those years and now, when it comes time to make a claim, the Insurers are dodging their liabilities. All in all, it's is a terrible indictment of how we, as a nation, treat our most vulnerable citizens and almost makes you ashamed to say that you are a Briton. And where are our elected members, in all of this; are they leaping forth, to defend the rights of someone to choose their own way of doing things? The silence is deafening! woolywords
  • Score: 14

10:46pm Thu 3 Jul 14

ConcernedOssy says...

pwitch wrote:
Why haven't social services been involved? In East Lancashire hospitals they have a re-habilitation unit for stroke cases where a friend of ours went before going home. He had had a severe bleed on the brain and was also fed through the stomach wall for several weeks but is recovering even though its been a year since he had the stroke. Yes he is a lot younger than this lady, but her wishes should be respected and if her husband has done some training he is obviously prepared. It may also be cheaper to have a live-in nurse than to put her into a home.
Think that might be Pendle,they are absolutely First class in every Aspect including food, They are quite rightly very proud of their achievements and REALLY CARE. My wife was there about 3 years ago and can't praise them enough.
[quote][p][bold]pwitch[/bold] wrote: Why haven't social services been involved? In East Lancashire hospitals they have a re-habilitation unit for stroke cases where a friend of ours went before going home. He had had a severe bleed on the brain and was also fed through the stomach wall for several weeks but is recovering even though its been a year since he had the stroke. Yes he is a lot younger than this lady, but her wishes should be respected and if her husband has done some training he is obviously prepared. It may also be cheaper to have a live-in nurse than to put her into a home.[/p][/quote]Think that might be Pendle,they are absolutely First class in every Aspect including food, They are quite rightly very proud of their achievements and REALLY CARE. My wife was there about 3 years ago and can't praise them enough. ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 12
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree