Some people who have short inpatient admissions for surgery or for assessment and treatment for non-Covid issues (eg strokes, heart attacks, cancer, non-Covid infections, fractures etc.) have to stay in hospital longer than is medically necessary because they have no-one to look after them at home during their convalescence. They may not need more than a few weeks care from someone who is able and trained to provide 24-hour personal care, but as they live alone in one-bedroom flats they cannot have live-in carers, even if they could afford to pay. They may live with an elderly or disabled partner who cannot look after the patient while he/she is recovering. Frequent visits from community nurses to attend to the medical needs (changing dressings, catheters, colostomies etc) do not give help with daily living activities. Covid lockdown, shielding and self-isolation has made it impossible for relatives or friends who are not part of the patient’s “bubble” to be able to help, especially if they are also home-schooling their own children. Close family members may live too far away or overseas and cannot come to help elderly parents at times of emergency or elective medical treatment.
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