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NHS patient 'stuck in hospital with months to live'

A woman who may only have months to live has told the BBC she is "angry and frustrated" at being in hospital five months after being cleared to go home.

Charlotte Mills-Murray, 34, said attempts to organise care at her family home had been repeatedly delayed.

Charlotte lives with intestinal failure caused by a severe form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which weakens her body's connective tissue.

She was admitted to St James's Hospital in Leeds in June 2022 following an infection, and a new Hickman line - a tube that allows feeding and the administering of pain relief - was inserted.

By November, Charlotte was told she was well enough to be cared for at home, but she remains in hospital following delays in the hiring and training of staff able to support her.

With limited access to a hoist which would enable her to use her wheelchair, Charlotte said she had spent 10 months "stuck in bed".

Because of the complexity of her condition, Charlotte only has months to live. She believes her situation merits greater urgency because of the increased risk of infection in hospital.

Charlotte qualifies for 24-hour home care support through the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme, but she said decisions over how this would be put in place had been slow and unclear.

The BBC has found a 16% rise over the past year in the number of patients in England who are in hospital despite being well enough to leave.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it was "fully committed to speeding up the safe discharge of patients who no longer need to be in hospital" and was making £1.6bn available in England over the next two years to support this, on top of £700m of extra funding in 2022 to ease NHS pressures over the winter.

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Source: BBC News, 9 April 2023


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