Stevenage stroke victim’s husband ‘abandoned’ by NHS
15:00 27 May 2012
A HUSBAND says he feels abandoned due to the lack of post-hospital care his wife has received after she suffered a stroke.
Dale Zincke, of Haycroft Road in Stevenage, has raised concerns and has asked for an explanation from Danesbury Neurological Centre (DNC) in Welwyn, where his wife Lynne received aftercare following a massive stroke in January last year.
Mrs Zincke was 52 when she suffered the stroke, which has left her paralysed on her right side and with virtually no speech.
She was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where surgeons removed part of her skull to prevent it making contact with her swollen brain.
In June last year, after five months in various hospitals, she was finally allowed home, where she sleeps in a hospital bed in the lounge.
Mrs Zincke is visited by two carers four times a day to wash, dress and transfer her either to a commode or wheelchair.
Mr Zincke claims two physiotherapists from DNC visited her sporadically to assess her arm and leg up until December 2011, but since then she has had no contact from DNC. He says they have now written to her, discharging her from their care.
Mr Zincke said: “The letter is flawed as it refers to discussions with Lynne concerning her discharge, but such discussions have never taken place.
“The letter also thanks Lynne, following a discussion, for agreeing for a copy of the discharge letter to be sent to her GP and to social services.
Again, no discussion took place and no agreement was given to DNC. The letter has been signed by two senior physiotherapists at DNC.”
He added: “The decision to sign Lynne off without visiting her this year to assess her doesn’t make sense.”
It was also recommended through Lister Hospital in Stevenage that Mrs Zincke would benefit from a calliper to help support her right knee, but signing her off means there will be no assessment of how well a calliper will work for her.
Mr Zincke said: “It makes me feel abandoned and I feel there has been a lack of clear effective communication.
“I’m stuck in the middle of these professionals who are dealing with Lynne’s case and I feel I have to constantly coordinate and chase people up.
“While I understand they are busy, I am disappointed by the lack of action and feel disappointed and frustrated.”
His concerns echo those of the Stroke Association, which has launched a campaign – Life after Stroke – that recognises too many survivors are written off and denied their right to recovery.
The campaign aims to challenge attitudes about surviving a stroke and to challenge the barriers that stop stroke survivors from making their best possible recovery.
The Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, which runs DNC, said: “We are sorry Mr Zincke has issues around the care of his wife while with Danesbury Neurological Centre. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss any matters he wishes to raise.”