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The Story of Mrs Davies

Page 3

Darryl Emmerson

It then appeared that Frank, her neighbour, sometimes came to visit, and one day Mrs Davies introduced him to Dan. He was a shortish, slightly bent-over man of his friend’s age, but with a sharp gaze and quick comprehension. Yes he would most certainly look in her on the next weekend, and lunch would be great. He would bring some dessert, if Mary liked that idea? She did.

So the weekend proceeded. Dan, amongst his other activities during those few days, had the occasional misgiving, and waited with some apprehension to hear how it had gone. But it was fine. When he arrived at the nurses’ station the next Monday, he learned that all had gone to plan, transport, food, personal care, the lot. Mrs Davies, when he asked her, said simply “she had thoroughly enjoyed herself, just enjoyed being at home". But then Robyn, the ward nurse, came up and, with some pleasure it seemed, said there was an urgent call for him. It was the daughter, and to say she was angry is a very great understatement.

“I don’t know who you think you are, but you have no right to send my mother home! She is happy in hospital! She can’t cope at home! All your little arrangements are a waste of time, she’s never going to be able to live there again. Please stop your interference and butt out”. Another slam, another abrupt call-ending.

At the next ward meeting, when Mrs Davies’s name came up, Doctor P merely said, “Well I think she’s just ISQ[1], don’t you?”. When the nurse echoed this, with the equivalent of “three bags full”, Dan decided to make a little issue of things.

“I suppose the team know that Mrs Davies went home on the weekend, for the first time in several months. From what I have heard, she had no problems, the supports worked well, and she had a good time. I’m just wondering…”

Doctor P broke in, saying, “Well it wasn’t quite the easy road you think, Dan. Her daughter rang me, quite irate at the whole idea. She said it had broken the family’s arrangement with the ward…”

Now it was Dan’s turn to break in. “Can I ask, exactly what is the arrangement? According to the file, this lady should really have been at home quite a few weeks ago. Is there any pressing medical reason for her to stay here?”


1 ISQ: in status quo, ie. no change

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