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Take elderly patients home, says NHS Medical Director


Registered User
Aug 25, 2014
Don't know if anyone heard Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, talking on the Radio 4 Today programme this morning. He was telling listeners that to free up hospital beds over the busy holiday time, families of elderly patients should take them home to care for.

What he didn't tell listeners was where exactly they were supposed to get such last-minute help to care for their relatives at home - where were the high beds to suddenly appear from, the incontinence products, the help with changing bed linen many times a day, the district nurse to call twice daily ........

So the NHS Medical Director thinks all these things can be arranged now, in time for the holiday period?

What planet does this man live on? To get all these services would take at least three months and dozens of phone calls to organise at a normal time of the year. At a holiday time - he must be joking.

I don't have a knighthood but I do have the experience of 5 years caring full time for my elderly Mum, and 5 years before that as a part time carer when Mum could do bits for herself.

It seems to me that as soon as the people apparently in charge of providing services open their mouths, they show themselves to be completely divorced from the every day reality of us willingly trying our best to care for our beloved elderly relatives.

If Sir Bruce wants to free up his hospital beds, he should be pressuring the powers-that-be to get their act together and start co-ordinating a good level of social and medical care provided to people in their own home, instead of haranguing carers who may love to have their relatives home for the holidays if only they were offered the requisite good quality support.

And on that note I'll step off my soapbox!


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
He's a shining example of people who don't understand why the NHS seems to attract sick people like moths to a flame. Were it not for all these pesky patients the NHS would run wonderfully. In order not to breach forum rule I will say no more on the subject other than to muse how many spare bedrooms he has in Keogh Towers where possibly he could put up a few:)


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
One of the very stupid ideas of putting business men who couldn't 'care less' in senior positions in the world of care - a bit like social services directors being promoted to the job for 5 years max and then moving on. Maximum damage and destruction and no accountability


Account on hold
Oct 9, 2011
Milton Keynes
I'm trying to imagine the reaction if he had said this to the families of sick children...

Sadly, it seems all too easy to dismiss elderly people as less important. :mad:


Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
Don't get off your soapbox, Wornoutbattling. Instead, take your very well expressed post, and send it to every National newspaper - adding asherman's bit about the reaction had he said this to the families of sick children.

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