Just imagine  you are a hospital patient, an older hospital patient. You are admitted to your local hospital following a fall at home, you remember the ambulance arriving, remember being afraid. Not thinking to remember how your home looks, not thinking that you may never see it again.

They keep you at the hospital, you remain in bed for several days and you feel yourself becoming weaker. You don’t know that every day you are left lying in your pyjamas is a day your body is slowly deconditioning. You are better ‘medically’ but another hurdle – you need to be placed in a reablement bed, why? No one has asked you? Why can’t you go home? Instead you wait – you wait 9 days – a bed never comes.

You continue to feel weaker. You can’t remember the last time you were out of your PJs, the last time you walked outside. (You don’t know it but #endPJ paralysis is setting in – your body is wasting away and yet still you wait. Then you are told ‘sorry’ your needs have become more complex (really has so much changed in 9 days?). You have dementia, you need to be placed in a ‘home’. Not your home, it is unlikely you will see your home again.

You are ‘assessed’ to understand what your care needs are, your second assessment. You are told they have found a lovely home for you, one where you will be happy (why – it’s not your home, it’s not where you want to be?). You wait 18 days for them to come and when they do they ‘assess’ you again, they don’t want you. Why did they come to see you if they don’t want you – you are confused? And so you wait again only a day this time and another assessment, but again this home doesn’t want you either – Why? 7 days later another ‘assessor’ comes to see you, for yet another assessment, number 5 now – you are becoming a pro! She tells you they will look to find a suitable ‘home’ for you, after 2 more assessments and another 4 days in hospital, finally you go home, its Christmas Eve, but it’s not your home.

Just imagine that you were told you have a 1000 days left to live, think of all the things you would want to do – ‘your bucket list’! -Vegas! – Playing with the grandchildren – Watching your garden grow – 34 wasted days waiting and lying in a hospital bed was surely not on that list?

These are your 1000 days live them how you want to, don’t let complex health and social care systems waste them for you. Get up, get dressed , keep on moving and live the best life you can. #last1000days #endPJparalysis #Red2Green . (This short story is written in line with a real patient pathway, tracking that patients wasted time in hospital, it is all too common – time to change).

Join the #endPJparalysis #last1000days #Red2Green movement “Patients time is the greatest currency in healthcare” (Brian Dolan), let’s not waste it.

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  1. BrianDolan 9 March 2017 at 1:33 am

    Congratulations Charlotte on writing such a beautiful and poignant short story that brings to life the way patients’ time is unintentionally wasted in our health system(s). Your call to action to #EndPJparalysis, to get up, get dressed and get moving saves more than patient time, it enables quality lives for patients in the place they call ‘their own home’ rather than spending the last of their 1000 days in ‘a home’.

    We change our health systems one heart and one mind at a time. Thank you for bring your good heart and spirit into this piece and making us all mindful of what we can do to make it better. Simply

    Warmest regards,

  2. Seniorshelpingseniors
    Seniorshelpingseniors 9 March 2017 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for using real patient pathways in this vital campaign. So important. East Kent is doing well but we still have around 300 beds at any one time being used by patients who could be discharged if the right support was found elsewhere. It is important to information for all the discharge options are made available. We find information delivery is inconsistent and lacks confidence. We are proud supporters of #endPJparalysis and experts at making last year of life the best they can be

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