The relationship between a nurse and a person in need of care is very special. The person and their relatives initially let strangers into their own home and private life, and it is not uncommon for friendships or even family relationships to develop. It hurts all the more when this relationship is terminated at short notice and without discussions and one is suddenly left without nursing care.
Lüdenscheid – For about 20 years, 91-year-old Gerda Gerrath from Wettringhof has been dependent on the daily support of Johanniter nursing. Even the goalkeepers were the same for most of the time one of them was like a son to Gerrath. “In August, it would have been eight years since he came. He did the math for me,” she says, and her voice breaks. “It’s like a family I’ve lost now.”
Shortly after Easter, one of the nurses was already awaiting termination and checking the mailbox for Gerrath. “But there was nothing in it yet, I would not believe it either,” she says. On April 21, the nursing staff finally received the termination of the nursing service from the mailbox and handed it over to Gerrath. “Then it was clear,” Gerrath says.
The announcement was made on April 30, so Gerda Gerrath’s son Martin Gerrath had nine days to find another nursing service. “I’ve been on the phone for hours,” says Martin Gerrath, who has found a new nursing offer after all. However, the transition was not smooth, Gerda Gerrath had to be accommodated on short-term care in Kierspe to build a bridge.
Johanniteren mentions “the currently extremely tense staff situation in the care team, partly due to the corona pandemic and the greatly extended travel distances due to the bridge closure” as reasons for the dismissal. Various options were explored before the termination.
But Gerraths did not notice anything. They would have liked us to look for a solution together after all these years. “We are all human and can talk to each other,” says Gerda Gerrath. They were also willing to compromise, the family would have undertaken individual services such as ordering medicine themselves in order to retain the known nursing staff.
We are all human and we can talk to each other.
That such individual solutions are difficult to implement becomes clear when one looks a little further: According to Gerraths, another person was cared for by the Johanniter nursing in Wettringhof, and she too was dismissed. There were also reports of layoffs from Grebbecker Weg and Augustenthal.
The nurse in Johanniteren was not to speak in person at the request of the editorial staff, but commented on the dismissals in a press release: It is important for Johanniteren that patients and the elderly can live in their own home. That is why they offer outpatient treatment at the Johanniter social center in Lüdenscheid. “We are therefore very sad that we were not able to provide these services ourselves in a few cases last month due to a large number of staff shortages,” said Stefanie Ueßler, head of the Johanniter regional association in South Westphalia. The cause of staff loss is several corona infections and the associated quarantine provisions.
The closure of the bridge and the associated significantly longer access roads to customers further exacerbated this extraordinary situation. Continuing to ensure the care of the very seriously ill people and performing them themselves was the highest priority for Johanniter care. With the support of the Johanniter nursing staff from Iserlohn and the two Johanniter day care institutions, the care was temporarily secured until quarantine measures also hit the services there.
Some of the 140 customers with a “lower need for care” were referred to other providers of care services. “With the prescribed period of two weeks, the corresponding maintenance contracts have been terminated for some customers,” the message reads. Johanniteren had previously approached local competitors, who promised to take over the customers.
In Gerda Gerrath’s case, it did not seem to work smoothly, and the termination was in the mailbox at the earliest 10 days earlier due to the Easter holidays. The Gerrath family has already noticed that the show can no longer be delivered as usual, and there have already been cancellations at short notice. However, they have no understanding that people in need of care can suddenly be left without care. “I find it impossible that people in need of care can be fired in such a short time,” says Martin Gerrath angrily.
Termination period for maintenance contracts
According to the Consumer Center, the notice period for a care benefit is always based on the agreements in the care contract. A period of 14 days is usual, in consumer-friendly contracts also significantly longer periods. If no notice of termination is given, the nursing service may, according to legal provisions, cease from one day to the next. In the case of care contracts, however, there is a special relationship of trust, which is why the right of termination is so limited that the person requiring care in the event of termination must have the opportunity to initiate a new care benefit.