When my mother was near death from kidney failure in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, US, I was amazed that she was stabilised and transferred to an excellent rehab centre in one week. I was amazed again when the rehab centre had her mobile, on a stable dialysis regime and ready to return home in two weeks.
My father and I were fully engaged in the decision-making process. We chose where she would go for rehab and what community service package she would receive at home. We were kept up to date on her.clinical progress throughout the three weeks as an inpatient and in the period of community-based services that followed.
The key to the productive wards was the case manager. Each ward my mother was on had a case manager who liaised between staff, family, and every level of care provider to ensure an efficient pathway.
This role was critical for doctors, nurses and therapists to fulfil their clinical role. Let's have the productive ward of the future include a case manager.
Susan Rautenberg, head of planning and partnerships, children's and maternity services, Leeds primary care trust.