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Hospital discharged blind dementia patient, 90, without telling carer

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CROYDON University Hospital discharged a blind 90-year-old at night on the same day it was criticised for sending elderly patients home in the evening.

Last Thursday a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised "particular concern" about patients over the age of 65 being discharged after 6pm.

That evening pensioner Dorothy Robinson, who has dementia, was discharged at 7pm, despite being told she would stay overnight after a heart operation.

The 90-year-old was taken back to her sheltered accommodation in Arthur Court, Fairfield Path, without her carers' knowledge.

Hospital staff also failed to inform neighbour Patrick Bailey, her registered next-of-kin, who only discovered she was home the following morning.

Mr Bailey, 81, said the hospital had shown a "disregard" for his vulnerable friend's well-being.

He added: "Dorothy is 90 years old, blind, senile and can't look after herself – anything could have happened."

Ms Robinson, a former telephone operator, was admitted to hospital last Thursday morning for an operation to fit a new pacemaker.

Mr Bailey showed the Advertiser a letter from Croydon Health Services which told Ms Robinson: "Following the procedure you will stay in hospital overnight and therefore please bring an overnight bag."

As a result he told social services they did not need to perform their regular visits that evening or the following morning because she would not be there.

On Friday morning Mr Bailey, who has cared for his neighbour for the past ten years, let himself into her flat to turn the heating on, only to find her standing in the kitchen.

"They had brought her home in the night and I hadn't heard anything," he said. "Dorothy can't see and is very unsteady on her feet. There's a very small gap between her bed and her wardrobe which she always needs help with.

"She could have fallen and wouldn't have been able to reach the emergency cord.

"No-one would have known until I went there the next morning. I think it's terrible."

John Goulston, Chief Executive of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said it was working to improve the discharge of elderly patients in the evening.

Hospital discharged blind dementia patient, 90, without telling carer


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