Longer wait for bed-blocker
PENSIONER Joan McCann has been taking up a bed at Ipswich Hospital for six months.She needs a hoist to get her in and out of bed each day and someone to help her wash - but she and husband Andrew have been refused a place in Jamie Cann house because there is not enough staff to care for her.
PENSIONER Joan McCann has been taking up a bed at Ipswich Hospital for six months.
She needs a hoist to get her in and out of bed each day and someone to help her wash - but she and husband Andrew have been refused a place in Jamie Cann house because there is not enough staff to care for her.
The accommodation at Ravenswood was opened in December and provides 24 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom self-contained flats for the elderly.
It was opened in a bid to ease the burden on hospitals where people were taking up beds because they would be unable to cope at home but no longer needed hospital treatment.
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Around three weeks ago she was offered a place at Jamie Cann House but that was taken away from her after an assessment revealed that her needs were too great for staff at the home to care for her.
Although there are other people in the home with similar needs Chris Lane spokesman for social care said that it was a mixed care home and only a certain amount of people with high care needs like Mrs McCann could be catered for.
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He apologised to Mrs McCann for the situation. He said: "I would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs McCann for any distress we have inadvertently caused them. When a couple, or an individual is identified as a possible tenant in a very sheltered housing scheme, such as Jamie Cann House, this is always subject to a detailed assessment of their care needs.
"People's care needs are assessed so that staff can say whether we have the capacity in the scheme to meet not only their individual need, but also to allow for any effect their needs may have on the care available to other residents. We seem to have failed to explain this clearly to Mr and Mrs McCann, who quite reasonably thought they had been offered a place.
"The flat is likely to be offered to someone with less care needs. However, if the balance of care needs among residents changes at Jamie Cann House or elsewhere, it is possible that Mr and Mrs McCann could be offered a place there in the future. Staff will now always make the situation clear to people."
But for 80-year-old Mrs McCann, the final straw came when her daughter Beverley spotted an advertisement for an activities co-ordinator for the accommodation.
She said: "It makes me feel very bitter.
"They want someone to entertain people but that money could go towards the staff they need.
"You make your own entertainment if you are living at home."
Mr McCann is 84 and is currently still living at their home in Goldcrest Road, but Mrs McCann has been told she cannot go back there because the house is too small for a hoist.
She has been in and out of hospital for more than two years after breaking her hip and later breaking her leg and is now able to walk unaided.
Mrs McCann said: "They told me I now have two options.
"I could go to Hartismere hospital or have a bed in my front room at home.
"But you can't fit a bed in there - it makes me weep sometimes to think about it."
Mr McCann has visited his wife in hospital almost every day but if she was moved to Hartismere they would rarely see one another.
Ironically, Mrs McCann worked as a warden in two sheltered housing complexes in Ipswich, up until her retirement but when she needed the care herself, it has not been there for her.
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