My first crisis call during corona.

I have now had that first phone call, where someone has telephoned me to say that they don’t know what to do, but something has gone wrong and corona is involved indirectly!

I had the call about somebody who was in hospital for a reason completely unrelated to the coronavirus, but needed rehabilitation following a stroke.

Whenever I speak to anyone connected with either the NHS or social services, they all say the same thing that their main focus is working with the hospitals to get people out of hospital if at all possible, so that the beds can be freed up for people with corona. The public are very empathetic to the crisis that is unravelling within our society tend to acquiesce to requests when it is suggested that this action will save lives and is to do with corona. However there is a risk that bad practice can occur in this environment.

The phone call that I took was because an elderly person had been moved from a rehabilitation unit into a care home, to free up the bed. They were receiving physiotherapy whilst in the rehabilitation unit and now this will not happen, which will impair their potential ability to recover.

The circumstances of each case are always going to be unique, and what is the right thing for one person may not be the right thing for a different person. In this case I have advised the spouse to have an assessment of their needs undertaken as soon as is practically possible and to invoke their authority under the registered lasting power of attorney which they have taken out and have their spouse brought home. In order for this to be done safely, they will need to have some equipment provided to them in the home, there is a loans system for this. The scarce resource will be the domiciliary care will need to come into home to support the spouse in providing care. Care home beds are also scarce resource, and by moving from the care home to their own home, will free up that resource to be used by someone else.

The time of corona is tricky, there are difficult decisions to be made and sometimes these will be the wrong decisions, or ill-considered decisions. If you need any advice please contact me.