Apology for Cornwall home care delay boy Alex Dieterle

Jo Hudgell with son Alex
Image caption NHS Kernow apologised for the time being taken to get Alex home

Health bosses have apologised for delays in arranging home care for a 10-year-old boy being kept in hospital.

Alex Dieterle, who has cerebral palsy, was judged by doctors to be well enough to leave Derriford Hospital in Plymouth in September.

But he has been kept in hospital amid a delay over how his care will be managed at home.

NHS Kernow and Cornwall Council which jointly fund Alex's care said it was "absolutely not" a funding issue.

Alex was taken to Derriford Hospital for treatment when he contracted a chest infection.


His mother, Jo Hudgell, from Gunnislake in Cornwall, said he should ideally be back home and he was entitled to a home care support nurse to help with turning him in bed and to administering other treatment.

Although she can carry out much of his medical care, Ms Hudgell is registered disabled because of trouble with her hip.

Ms Hudgell said: "Every day Alex is in my house is a gift because I don't know how long he will be there for."

Joe McKenna of patients group Health Initiative Cornwall said: "For a 10-year-old to be told that he has to stay in hospital because a package of care can't be put together for him is a disgrace."

NHS Kernow said: "We are sorry for the time it is taking to bring Alex home, but we need to ensure that a safe and effective package of care is in place to support both Alex and his mum at home.

"The funding has been agreed and both the NHS and Cornwall Council are committed to ensuring the care package is in place so Alex can be discharged from hospital as quickly as possible."

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