The challenge for social workers in finding suitable placements for people who can no longer be supported at home was the subject of this week’s third and final episode of BBC documentary Protecting Our Parents.
The episode featured the cases of three people – Evelyn, John and Gladys – who were admitted to Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital, and focused on what happened next and how decisions were made.
With John’s carer, Jean, struggling to care for him because of his advanced dementia, social worker Kerry arranges a temporary placement in a care home, to allow Jean to consider the future.
Gladys’s sister, Pat, and brother-in-law are struggling to care for her while living over an hour away. In both cases, the programme charts the emotions of the carers and the people needing support as social worker and their health colleagues try to find a way forward.
And Evelyn, who has advanced dementia, has been stuck at the Heartlands while medically fit for discharge for two months because a suitable care home place cannot be made.
She becomes unsettled and disorientated by remaining in hospital, is aggressive towards staff and security guards are then called to restrain her.
The programme also threw up issues about funding – with social services and the NHS wrangling over who should pay for Evelyn’s care and concerns over whether Birmingham council would be able to fund a suitable placement for John. Replay the live debate to read what social care professionals thought of the programme. You can also replay the live chats on episodes one and two.