Hazel Lowe was admitted to hospital after falling from her wheelchair and breaking her leg
The family of an East Yorkshire mum claim she has been left “helpless” in her own home after suffering a broken leg.
Hazel Lowe, 68, has a series of complex health issues that stem largely from contracting polio when she was a child, including a curved spine and paralysis down one side of her body.
Although she has been able to live an independent life, she suffered a horrific accident in her South Cave home last week, in which she broke her already-paralysed leg.
She was taken to hospital but after a few days her family decided to have her taken back home so she could be more comfortable.
However, her family say that although a hospital bed has been sent back to her home for her to recover on, she is unable to physically get onto it.
As she is not on the bed, her family claim the hospital are unable to send out people to give her specialist treatment – meaning she has been left in pain on her own bed without the help she says she needs.
Her son Justin Lowe, who lives with his mother, says he is unable to hoist his mother into her bed. Without the hospital sending out a team who can get his mother into the hospital bed, she is having to spend all her time in her own bed – which is leaving her in pain.
Mr Lowe says he has made “30 to 40” phone calls in a desperate bid to get his mum help but says he has not been able to get anywhere.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, who look after patient care in the county, has urged the family to get in touch with their patient relations team to discuss their concerns.
‘Her spirit has been crushed’
The 42-year-old cares for his mother and says he will do “anything to get her a bit of assistance” but says her spirit has been “crushed” over the past few days and left her unable to get to the toilet.
Describing what happened, Mr Lowe said: “On Friday she fell out of her wheelchair at home when she was trying to open the door. She broke her right leg above her knee on her paralysed leg.
“She doesn’t settle right in hospital because her needs are really specific. She needs a ventilator for eight hours a night because she has respiratory failure. She also needs toilet care.”
Her specific needs, many of which were caused by her polio diagnosis more than 60 years earlier, meant the family felt their only choice was to have her taken home so they could give her the one-to-one care they felt she required.
Their decision was also made based on a bad experience in hospital in the past.
“They said we can’t get the care unless we have a hospital bed at home. [It was] agreed to have one sent home that day to transfer to and get the care she needed,” he said.
“She came back and said we can’t have emergency care without a bed. Because there was no bed there, they wouldn’t let them [home carers] come.”
A bed was delivered the next day but the family say they now need specialist support, including a hoist, to be able to get her into the new bed which is sat empty in the next room.
If she was in the bed she would be eligible for home support but her son claims without her being in it, he has been told she cannot receive the care in the interest of her safety and that of the staff.
She has been visited by district nurses and by the East Riding STARS service who offer short-term care to patients who have been recently discharged from hospital, but her son says she needs specialist help.
Her limbo-like situation has left her with “pressure sores” and uncomfortable, while her dignity has also been compromised.
“She is propped up in bed. She is uncomfortable. She has a pressure sore on her arm that needs more treatment. She’s getting sore and achy. There’s a hospital bed in the living room now waiting for her but there’s no hoist to get her in it,” her son said.
“We have no equipment or anything to help her. She can’t sit up, she’s in pain.
“I must have had 30 to 40 phone calls and there’s no provision for anyone to come in.