Family's distress over fight to get grandmother out of Ulster Hospital

A family have spoken to UTV about their struggle to get a pensioner out of hospital.

Louise Wallace has been trying to get her mum home for six days. Her 75-year-old mother Alexandra Boyd broke her leg and wrist in a fall.

She has since witnessed the extraordinary pressures staff are under as they struggle to care for their patients.

One day they were so stretched, Ms Boyd was accidentally left in a wheelchair in a toilet for more than an hour.

"Mum had been in tears because she couldn't move from the position she was in because all the brakes were on," Louise Wallace said.

"She couldn't reach the buzzer because her arm was broken - the buzzer is a fixed one on the wall so there's no way for her to alert anybody.

"She thought about throwing herself off the chair to try and crawl across to the door."

The great-grandmother has been deemed fit for discharge from the Ulster Hospital into community care.

But her family say no social worker has been available to sign off her release.

"I have been on the phone trying to get in touch with different social work teams, trying to push things through and just nearly join the dots," said Louise Wallace.

"Every time you go somewhere there's a different story, or she's not registered or she hasn't been discharged.

"The communication, the staff are so stretched it is unreal, but it obviously has an impact not only on staff but then on patients."

The South Eastern Trust says it's experiencing very significant, unscheduled care pressures, and that every effort is being made to discharge patients as soon as they are medically fit.

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