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Delays in home care left man in hospital two years.

AMANsuffering from Huntington's disease spent two years in hospital as the NHS argued about the cost of his care at home.

The man, known only as Mr P, was initially admitted to Rookwood Hospital, in Cardiff, for two weeks.

His mother, who subsequently complained to the Public Services Ombudsman forWales, would spend 12 hours a day in hospital to feed, wash and move her son.

The ombudsman today upheld a complaint about the delays in Mr P's discharge home, ordering Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to pay pounds 1,500 in compensation.

A report found there had been an excessive delay and there was a failure to carry out adequate assessments of Mr P's needs.

Jan Williams, chief executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, today apologised "unreservedly" to his family. Mr P was admitted to Rookwood Hospital in August 2007 for a "period of rehabilitation" on the advice of his consultant to see whether it would improve his ability to move between his bed and a chair - Mr P was no longer able to walk after an admission to University Hospital of Wales in 2006.

Two months after Mr P was admitted and after assessments had been carried out by a physiotherapist, occupational therapists, speech and language therapist and dietician, his mother - referred to as Mrs P - told staff she wanted her son to return home, were he had previously been cared for.

But the NHS could not agree a care package, particularly as it was wrongly decided that Mr P needed round-the-clock care.

Almost a year after he was first admitted to Rookwood, the former Cardiff Local Health Board said it could not afford to fund a package of care that would allow Mr P to return home.

He was eventually discharged home in August 2009 but died less than a year later.

In assessing the case, the ombudsman's report highlighted the continuing care nursing adviser Rose Edgson's concerns about the lack of assessments carried out while Mr P was in hospital.

The ombudsman concluded: "I consider that caused Mr P an injustice as he remained in an environment which was not in his best interests for too long."
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 24, 2010
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