Gants Hill pensioner, 82, lifts the lid on new intermediate care team

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 December 2014 | UPDATED: 15:30 16 December 2014

Gagan Singh Bhogal with Stanley Dobrin (right)

Gagan Singh Bhogal with Stanley Dobrin (right)


Three weeks ago 82-year-old Stanley Dobrin struggled to get up the stairs in his home and had been hospitalised after falling badly going to bed one night.

Qualified physiotherapist Gagan Singh Bhogal - 60 years Stanley’s junior - was searching for his first job until being pared with the pensioner, of Sussex Close, Gants Hill.

Now after working together six times a week, Stanley and Gagan have formed a rather unique bond which the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) hopes will be the legacy of its decision to set up home based services across the borough.

“Gagan and I have got a relationship that is typical of community treatment teams,” says Stanely, who suffers from stenosis of the spine.

“He has been brilliant – not only him but the people he has brought with him. They have all been very supportive and phenomenally careful people.”

Community Treatment Teams (CTTs) run alongside the intensive rehab service (IRS) which aim to take on the role of the Heronwood and Galleon wards at Wanstead Hospital, in Makepeace Road. The wards’ closure was officially approved last week.

Across Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham the number of rehabilitation beds have been reduced from 104 to between 40 and 61 because of the decision.

Stanley’s condition has developed significantly in the last six months.

“It is a complete disability apart from having my wife, Pearl, who has been out of the house for three years because she has problems with the tendons in her arms,” he adds. “That is an extra worry for me.”

Gagan interjects to remind his patient he visits six times a week – except when Stanley’s beloved Arsenal FC are playing – to do balance and strength exercise.

Stanley does the exercises in the context of day-to-day living around the house. “It is all about avoiding the fall,” he adds.

Debbie Feetham, the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) IRS manager, has overseen the intermediate service since it started in November.

“It has been really successful,” she insists. “It is going really well clinically.”

Some, though, have reservations about whether treatment at home is for everyone.

Helen Zammett, a committee member of Wanstead and Snaresbrook Residents’ Association (WASRA), feels the provision of intermediate care is linked to the “failure of special measures” at the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust.

“With the chronic shortage of nursing at King George Hospital could the extra intermediate care beds even be staffed?”, she asks.

“I believe Wanstead Hospital should not be closed.

“For some patients who may not be as compos mentis as others they will not know which carer is coming and going if they are getting home treatment.

“A lot of people cannot survive in their own home.”

Stanley has been forced to fit a stairlift in his house with his own money, after being told a committee would have to first approve the funding.

Stanley, concerned about his immediate well-being, decided to install one anyway – not that he minds with Gagan at hand.

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