Hospitals and illegal drugs 

Outside the main hospital doors is not just the patients unofficial smoking area its where you score. It shouldn't be a surprise that illegal drugs are available to patients or that drug addicts have health problems but it does make their stay on the ward more of a challenge. The patient on    methadone who also requires strong pain killers following their operation still sneaks out to score. Shooting up in the gents passes out, bangs their head and ends up in A&E with a smashed face that requires stitches and no memory of what happened. The consultant orders the ward to remove his wheelchair and so sister locks it in a store room. The patients persistent pleas to have it returned arose the suspicions of the ward staff, they search the wheelchair and find in the padded seat a hollowed out section with a wrap inside. The hospital would discharge him even though he still needs treatment but social services are adamant that with two young children on the at risk registrar he can't return to the family home whilst still using. He continues to take up an expensive hospital bed due to his drug problem and homeless rather than his medical needs. Is this the type of situation the integration of health and social care will tackle.
Blair McPherson former director of community services,author and blogger.