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The EDP says... Patients must come first in NHS decisions

Stuart Wilkie is unhappy with the standard of hospital care his dad Ron Wilkie has received. Picture: Ian Burt

Stuart Wilkie is unhappy with the standard of hospital care his dad Ron Wilkie has received. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

The story of Ron Wilkie and his son’s battle to get access to physiotherapy for his father is heartbreaking - with the family stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Without the physiotherapy, Mr Wilkie senior is confined to his bed, unable to live well with dementia - which charities say is possible.

But the Queen Elizabeth Hospital says an independent assessment found he was not eligible, and that it would not be of benefit.

The decisions taken by professionals can sometimes seem perplexing to those of us who care for loved ones who so desperately need the help.

Clearly, with limited resources, there has to be a cut off point where if a treatment will not benefit a patient, it should not be given indiscriminately. Tragically, our health service does not have the money for that.

But when leading charities say that there could be a benefit for those living with dementia, it seems odd to deny Mr Wilkie the care, especially when it appears to have worked in the past.

It is even more painful for the family when at Mr Wilkie’s new care home, a physiotherapist is on site but cannot be accessed without a referral.

As more services are under the spotlight in a bid for the NHS to make its money go as far as possible, it is possible more cases like this will come to light where cost pressures outweigh the potential gain for patients.

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