LSS again visited La Source, where she had a meeting with the Social Services officer of the Geriatric Department. Officialdom has now finally agreed that the Aged FIL can no longer receive the appropriate level of care at home; and when (actually more likely IF) he recovers sufficiently, he will be moved into an EHPAD (French nursing home for the elderly).

If he refuses this (which, knowing him, is highly likely), the necessary steps will be taken to have him declared incompetent, and LSS will then have the final say. However, his condition has not improved much since he was admitted; and the doctors have told LSS to prepare herself for the worst. “It could be weeks, or just a few months,” they said.


LSS heard back from the lawyers regarding the “medical malpractice” affair with the Aged FIL. “Yes, everything is in order. However, in order to proceed further, we need signed witness statements from Seven Vestal Virgins, countersigned by the President.”

No, not really. But in other words, they cannot proceed without any written witness statements. LSS is trying to trace the chap who was in the bed next to the Aged FIL when the “incident” occurred. But is not having much luck.

In the afternoon LSS went back to Orleans La Source. The Aged FIL has now been transferred to the Geriatric unit, and has had the scheduled X-Ray for his broken arm. Apparently when he was last at this hospital, he discharged himself; even though they wanted to keep him there to make sure his arm was starting to heal.

Well, they’re keeping him now. For a while, anyway.


Just after lunch, the hospital called LSS. “The Aged FIL has been repaired. So we’re sending him back home.”

“What, already!” exclaimed LSS. “Are you sure? The Home Nursing Service asked me to tell you that he will not be able to get the amount of specialised care he needs at home; therefore he should either stay in hospital until he’s completely better, or he needs to be referred to a retirement home catering for patients with special needs.”

“That is unacceptable,” said the hospital staff member. “He’ll be better off at home. His family should be looking after him, not us. So we’re sending him back now. Goodbye.”

Um, his family should be looking after him? What? That means LSS. Is she medically trained to operate lève-malades/change catheters/bed-sore bandages/nappies? No.

Gosh this hospital is good: curing someone of all their complaints within 24 hours! If you know anybody who’s ill, I strongly recommend that you send them to La Source in Orleans. Even Lourdes* is not as effective.
(/end sarcasm).

When the head of the Home Nursing Service was made aware that the Aged FIL had returned home, she telephoned the hospital herself. Unfortunately she received an ear-bashing instead of any assistance.

I suspect that tomorrow, or the day after, LSS will receive a telephone call from one of the carers, along the lines of “The Aged FIL is having <insert random problem here> again. Call the doctor quick!”
To which the reply will be “Unfortunately the local doctor is now on holiday. And there is no locum.” (True on both counts)

So the fire brigade will need to be called, to send an ambulance, to take him to hospital. Rinse and repeat.

Health Service? Don’t make me laugh.
We are considering selling the film rights to this story.

*A French town reputedly known for apparent miraculous healings


A further update to the previous update’s update: Yesterday La Source sent the Aged FIL back with his arm in a sling. We’ve now had 24 hours of peace and quiet. There was a major meeting at the Aged FIL’s house containing most of the Management staff of the carer’s association, and the Management staff of the Home Nursing association. In brief, they said “Aged FIL, it would be better for you – in fact it would be better all round – if you went into a special-care retirement home. Just for a short while, you understand, until your condition has improved.”
His answer was very simple, and consisted of one word.

During this twenty-four-hours-of-down-time, LSS discovered that the Aged FIL’s house insurance policy just so happens to include a thing called “Legal Cover”.

“I wonder if?” LSS mused.

So she rang the number provided, spoke to the lawyers, and explained the situation. “Oh yes,” they said, to the background sounds of ringing cash-registers. “What you’ve described to us about your father’s treatment amounts to what we call in the legal profession, ‘Medical malpractice’. Don’t worry about a thing. Send us all the documents and we’ll take care of it. We’ll send an RL (Registered Letter) to Monsieur HHH (Hospital Head Honcho), and then discuss CC (Compensation Claims). After all, caring for the Aged FIL is now going to be a lot more expensive, non?
Marvellous. {Please understand, I’m summarizing here.}

Well, this evening, as we were putting our feet up and pouring a well-earned glass of Martin’s Wallop home-brew, the phone rang. It was the carer at the Aged FIL.

“He’s having trouble breathing, you need to call the doctor.” Yes, yes, all well and good. But the time happens to be 18h40. The doctor works office hours.

And, guess what?

Correct. There’s no reply from the doctor’s telephone number. LSS abandoned her half-finished glass of Martin’s Wallop finest home-brew (accept no imitations), and went next door to see what was what.

I eyed her half-full glass speculatively, but decided that discretion was the better part of valour, so left it alone.

The ambulance was called (i.e. LSS called the emergency services, which is the fire brigade, which sends an ambulance)… and the Aged FIL will shortly be whisked off to the hospital. Which hospital? Well, the one the fire brigade here normally uses, of course.

And which one would that be?

Answers on a postcard to… no, I’ll save you the bother. Romorantin.

I wonder if they’ll break his other arm this time.

NEWSFLASH…. LSS put her foot down. And to everyone’s surprise, asked if the ambulance staff could take him to La Source in Orleans instead. “Oh,” they sighed. “Well, I suppose we could make an exception. Just this once.”

Stay tuned for more exciting developments…


Oh yes, I meant to add this last time. It’s a photo of the Aged FIL’s upper arm. You can see the marks left by fingers. Not very pretty I’m afraid:

And the Aged FIL is now on his way back from Romorantin’s X-Ray department.

As seems to be fairly common these days, someone returns from a hospital in a worse condition than when they went in.

The result of the X-Rays?

He has a fractured upper arm. That’s the French National Health Service for you.

So LSS arranged for another ambulance, and today he has been taken to La Source, Orleans. Let’s see what damage this medical centre does. By the way, the prognosis for fractures in the elderly is not good…