Patient care after hospital discharge


Sir, – In response to your Editorial “Health: The Weakest Link” (December 12th), which looks at the patient experience up to and following discharge from hospital, my experience was as follows.

After a cycling accident at noon on a Sunday, I was discharged on the Monday evening having suffered a pelvic fracture. I was told that recovery time is four to six weeks. The pressure on beds meant early release back into the community.

I left armed with prescriptions for strong painkillers, a walking frame and crutches.

I was verbally told how to manage the stairs with a crutch, as my house has a stairs. I got 20 minutes with a hospital physiotherapist before leaving. The doctor then explained that no physiotherapy care would be available to me through the hospital in the community, as it did not provide this.

I received no plan or written information about what I should or should not do for the coming weeks. My prescription was the only written information. The only plan was to renew the prescription for more pain killers.

My next appointment with the hospital is in four weeks’ time by which time I may be able to walk with a crutch. I have a supportive family who can help. For those who don’t, this simply isn’t good enough. – Yours, etc,


Ranelagh, Dublin 6.