Does this sound right? Is there a cause for complaint?

I found out last Monday that my 82 year old father has advanced CA Prostate with bone metastases. He lives with his partner, about 75 miles from me. I knew he was not well, but he is a very private and domineering person, and does not talk about anything, even to his partner. She learned of the full situation last Monday too, when she called the doctor out. She had been on holiday and found out that he had spent the week she was away in bed and not eating.


I had last seen my father three weeks before, when he had stayed with me following a cataract operation. He had had the first eye operated one two weeks prior to that and had reacted badly to the twilight sedation. He seemed frail at that time, but stated that his poor appetite and fatigue was due to the sedation. He was however, mobile and lucid.


My concern is that he had these surgeries privately. It transpires that he had the scan in February which confirmed the metastases, and his license was revoked by the DVLA in April due to the cataracts. He could have had both eyes completed within a four month period on the NHS, but he wanted to go private and get it done quickly as he wanted to drive to watch cricket locally in the summer. Now, he will never be fit enough to drive again as he has lost use of his legs and is currently in hospital with a prognosis of a matter of weeks. He has however been determined as having "no medical need" and there is talk of discharging him home with a package of care. He will have to pay for this as he has savings over the threshold, which is fine, but I am thinking he has just spent over £6000 to no avail, which would have been better served on his care.


Surely, the GP should have forewarned him this might happen, or should the private clinic have refused to even take him? He was taking MST at the time, so there could have been no doubt.
I appreciate that ultimately it was his choice, but I do wonder if he was advised at all. Obviously, I cant ask that question of the doctor as they will just cover their tracks or quote data protection at me.


I am just left feeling he has been cheated somehow, but is that wrong of me?

Comments

  • whodathunkit
    whodathunkit Posts: 1,130 Forumite
    I don't feel that now is the time to worry about how your father has chosen to spend his money or to encourage him to get into a dispute with his medical team.
  • movingon wrote: »
    I found out last Monday that my 82 year old father has advanced CA Prostate with bone metastases. He lives with his partner, about 75 miles from me. I knew he was not well, but he is a very private and domineering person, and does not talk about anything, even to his partner.

    I had last seen my father three weeks before,....He was however, mobile and lucid

    My concern is that he had these surgeries privately..... Now, he will never be fit enough to drive again as he has lost use of his legs and is currently in hospital with a prognosis of a matter of weeks. ....but I am thinking he has just spent over £6000 to no avail, which would have been better served on his care.


    Surely, the GP should have forewarned him this might happen, or should the private clinic have refused to even take him? He was taking MST at the time, so there could have been no doubt.
    I appreciate that ultimately it was his choice, but I do wonder if he was advised at all. Obviously, I cant ask that question of the doctor


    I am just left feeling he has been cheated somehow, but is that wrong of me?

    Under the Mental Capacity Act a person who has "capacity" to make a decision e.g. about treatment or care (such as paying privately for an operation or having an operation at all ) can legally be allowed to make an "unwise" decision.

    The phrases ‘in relation to a matter’ and ‘at the material time’ indicate that capacity must be assessed on a decision-by-decision basis. Capacity is not a permanent status and so people should not be described as having or lacking capacity. Instead, when considering someone’s mental capacity a health or social care professional should ask, "Is this person, at this particular time, capable of making this particular decision?"

    Some people may have fluctuating capacity because their mental health changes from day to day. For example, a person who hears distressing voices may be unable to make a certain decision when the voices are at their most distressing but be able to make the same decision on a day when they are not hearing the voices.

    The level of capacity needed by a person also depends on the decision to be made. For example, a person probably needs a lower level of mental capacity to make decisions about everyday matters, such as what to eat or where to go, than they do when they are deciding whether to buy a new home or get married or have an operation.

    Section 3 of the MCA provides a fuller definition of how to assess whether someone lacks capacity to make a decision. It states that a person is unable to make a decision if he or she is unable to do one or more of the following things:

    Understand the information relevant to the decision

    Retain the information for long enough to be able to make a decision

    Use or weigh up the information as part of the process of making the decision

    Communicate the decision by any possible method, such as talking, using sign language, squeezing someone’s hand and so on.

    The Code of Practice to the MCA also explains what does not mean that someone lacks capacity. A person must not be assumed to lack capacity because of:

    Their age
    Their appearance
    Any mental health diagnosis they may have
    Any other disability or medical condition they may have.
    How is a person's capacity assessed?

    Anyone intending to take an action (such as a doctor, Mh professional or Social Worker) or make a decision on behalf of someone else must first assess that person’s capacity to take that action or make that decision for him or herself.
    Spelling courtesy of the whims of auto correct...


    Pet Peeves.... queues, vain people and hypocrites ..not necessarily in that order.
  • movingon
    movingon Posts: 533 Forumite
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    Thank you for your replies.
    Whodathunkit-I am worried about how he is going to pay for future care, as they are talking about transferring him to a nursing home, and £6000 wont last long there. I am not thinking that he should get into any kind of dispute right now, as there are other things to focus on.

    Fedupandstressed- I do not doubt his mental capacity at the time the referral was made, but I do wonder if the prognosis of his medical condition was adequately explained in terms of what long term benefit he would receive from having the two cataract operations and the stress these proceedures would put upon him. It cannot be right that someone says, "refer me for this or that" and the GP just does that without some form of discussion; or even that the private clinic just goes ahead and does a proceedure on someone who is otherwise physically unwell?
  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Posts: 18,832 Forumite
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    movingon wrote: »
    Thank you for your replies.
    Whodathunkit-I am worried about how he is going to pay for future care, as they are talking about transferring him to a nursing home, and £6000 wont last long there. I am not thinking that he should get into any kind of dispute right now, as there are other things to focus on.

    Fedupandstressed- I do not doubt his mental capacity at the time the referral was made, but I do wonder if the prognosis of his medical condition was adequately explained in terms of what long term benefit he would receive from having the two cataract operations and the stress these proceedures would put upon him. It cannot be right that someone says, "refer me for this or that" and the GP just does that without some form of discussion; or even that the private clinic just goes ahead and does a proceedure on someone who is otherwise physically unwell?

    If he has only £6,000 in savings and no property that would have to be sold then the local authority would pay for the nursing home. He would need to pay the bulk of his pension though leaving him with a small amount for personal spending.

    You are no doubt still trying to process this information so I think that you need to try and concentrate on the time you have left with him.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
    edited 23 June 2014 at 5:06PM
    He has advanced prostate cancer with bone metastases...

    Hasn't anyone explained to you the implications of this?

    Don't spend time and energy worrying about 'how long his money is going to last'. With that diagnosis, it is likely to outlast him. If he wants to watch the cricket this summer, even if he can't drive to get there, it would be a kindness - and maybe the best thing you can do - to move heaven and earth to make sure he sees it.

    PS: Just re-read. He has been given a prognosis of 'a matter of weeks'. I'm not sure how that ties in with having 'no medical need', but you have priorities right now and they don't include worrying about what decisions he made in the past.
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • movingon
    movingon Posts: 533 Forumite
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    Understanding the implications and dealing with them are two different things. My mind is buzzing,I'm afraid and trying to support my step mum too.
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