Norfolk

Bed-blocking patient evicted after two years 'did not want to stay'

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Media captionAdriano Guedes spent more than two years in James Paget Hospital in Norfolk

A patient who was evicted from a hospital after spending more than two years in a bed said he did not want to stay and "tried to get out of there".

Adriano Guedes, 63, who suffers paralysis after a stroke in 2008, was admitted to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, in 2014.

The hospital obtained a court order and evicted him two weeks ago, saying he had occupied the bed "unnecessarily".

"I didn't want to stay, and they forced me to stay," Mr Guedes told the BBC.

"It's very bad to occupy a place which should be used by someone in need, but I didn't cause the situation. On the contrary - I tried to get out of there."

He said he has been on a hunger strike since he left the hospital, adding his last meal was on 10 January.

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Image caption Mr Guedes told the BBC he had asked to be moved out of hospital to a "wheelchair-friendly place"

Mr Guedes said he was initially admitted to hospital on mental health grounds, rather than because of a physical problem.

He said he had asked to be moved out of hospital into a "wheelchair-friendly place" and to see a spinal specialist in London for his injuries.

"I wanted to leave but they always offered what they knew I would refuse," he claimed.

The hospital insisted he had been offered appropriate accommodation.


Analysis by Julian Sturdy

There are two sides to every story. Until now, like many people, it was hard to sympathise with someone who had been apparently hogging a much-needed hospital bed for two years.

But this is a complex situation which typifies the issues many hospitals face when someone no longer requires medical treatment, and has long-term social care needs.

However, isolating Adriano Guedes in an unfurnished flat with no working central heating, no curtains, no carpet is no solution.

So for much of the day he's on his own, lying in bed staring at a bare bulb strung from the ceiling. It was a shock to see him left in such conditions.

His story goes to the heart of a discord between proper care in our times of shrinking council budgets and over-run NHS hospitals.


Anna Hills, the hospital's director of governance, said Mr Guedes had "repeatedly refused all offers of appropriate accommodation organised by our local authority and social care partners, despite being fit for discharge".

The hospital also said it had worked "throughout in partnership with a range of agencies to achieve a safe discharge from the hospital".

It said "detailed planning" had taken place which "led to a successful discharge in this complex case".

Image caption The James Paget University Hospital said Mr Guedes had been fit to be discharged

The hospital applied to the court for a possession order to claim back the bed occupied by the man.

It was granted on 1 December and Mr Guedes was evicted on 10 January.

The Department for Health says the average daily cost of a hospital bed is about £400, meaning the man's stay at James Paget would have cost about £340,000 for the two years.

Mr Guedes, who moved to the UK from Portugal for work 15 years ago, is now living in a council flat in Suffolk.

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