Family 'torn apart' with dad in Weston Hospital for FIVE months

William Fowler

William Fowler was admitted to Weston Hospital in November. - Credit: Angela Fowler

A Weston family says it feels 'hopeless' after pleading for their dad to be released from the hospital after being admitted in November.

William Fowler, diagnosed with both Parkinson's and dementia, was taken to Weston General following a fall on November 17.

Daughter Angela thought it would be a routine stay but is still battling to get her dad home, five months later.

Angela Fowler

William and Angela Fowler. - Credit: Angela Fowler

She told the Mercury: “This whole thing has torn our family apart and we feel hopeless.

“Before he went into the hospital, my dad was reasonably healthy and it was not too long ago he would be walking the dogs every day and looking after my disabled mum.

“On December 9, plans were made to bring him home and we were told the hospital would provide a full care package to help my parents.

“But when he was assessed they said he would only get 30 minutes of care, they just did not understand the issues and the same night he almost set fire to the house by leaving the cooker on.”

Most Read

Angela claims the 30 minutes of care would not have been of much use as it would most likely be to get her father up and changed in the morning - something he could do himself already.

Seventy-five-year-old William was readmitted to the hospital five days after his failed discharge.

“The whole system needs a shakeup, the level of care has been inconsistent and once he was back in hospital he caught Covid and other bugs.

“He is moved around the wards constantly which means he does not have regular visiting hours and we find him in tears when we see him because he thinks we have abandoned him.”

Angela Fowler

The family are not happy with the level of care William has received. - Credit: Angela Fowler

Angela has challenged the hospital on the level of training it provides its staff to care for patients living with dementia.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust’s chief nurse and midwife dismissed this and insisted it is working with partners to provide permanent accommodation for William.

Deirdre Fowler said: “We take the concerns of patients and their families very seriously. 

“We are unable to comment on individual cases but would encourage anyone who is concerned about the care that they or a loved one has received to contact us so we can look into their concerns.

We have a specialist multi-disciplinary dementia, delirium and falls team and all staff receive dementia awareness training on induction. In addition, clinical staff receive regular in-depth dementia training.

“We are working together with local health and care partners with the aim of ensuring that patients are discharged from hospital safely as soon as they are medically well enough to leave and no longer need acute hospital care.”

Mike Bell.

Mike Bell. - Credit: Sub

After coming to terms that he would not be back for Christmas, William’s family says it is now at a loss for if they will ever have him back in the family home once again.

The Fowler’s have reached out to North Somerset Council to help get William out of hospital.

Executive member for healthcare, Mike Bell, confirmed that he has been working alongside Weston Hospital to find a place where William can be discharged from hospital and continue receiving the care he needs.

Cllr Bell said: “We work hard alongside our health colleagues so that patients can be discharged from hospital once they are medically well enough and it is safe to do so.

“Generally this happens quickly as it is better for recovery and frees up hospital beds. However, sometimes people will need extra support following their stay in hospital.

“This could mean being visited by carers at home or staying at a care home with specialist support. 

"In this instance, we have been looking for a suitable placement so that this gentleman can be discharged from hospital in a safe and supported way.

“I understand the frustration and concern the family will have about this and would assure them that we are continuing to do everything we can to find an appropriate placement as soon as possible."

After close to six gruelling months, Angela hopes a solution can be found quickly.

She said: “We know the strain that staff are under but we have been forced to watch him deteriorate alone.

“He has missed Christmas, his granddaughter’s wedding, his great grandson’s birth and it would break our hearts for him to miss out on anything else.”