"Post discharge arrangements were frustratingly confusing."

About: Albany Health Campus Denmark Health Service

(as the patient),

Earlier this year, I was savagely attacked by a male kangaroo, requiring emergency surgery and 6 nights in hospital. The care I received was of the highest standard, professional but very personable. I felt safe and cared for in a very difficult time. From the management to cleaning staff, I was treated with great respect and gentle consideration.

The only complaint I have is the rather unprofessional and inappropriate comments made by the surgery Dr, who seemed to relish telling me all the gory details of the surgery, only one day after my terrifying ordeal. All this, in front of a group of young surgical students. I felt it was almost as if the doctor was showing off. I required a Diazapam immediately after the doctor’s visit as I was so distraught. Twice the doctor told me that they could fit their whole hand inside one of my wounds, complete with gestures. This was only one of the horrid things the doctor said. A few weeks later, it still makes me sick thinking about that gross insensitivity. I feel this doctor needs a muzzle.

Unfortunately, the whole experience after my discharge has been a frustrating debacle.

I was referred to the Denmark Health Campus Wound Clinic, who were great in terms of customer service, but not prepared for the removal of my many staples, even having difficulties locating a staple remover on my last visit. The nurse confessed that they do not normally do staple removal, but that it is usually done in a doctor’s surgery. Why were they not informed that I would require this?

There was mass confusion regarding my post-surgery appointment in Albany. I was given 3 different dates, told that only certain days were available and treated very poorly by staff members over the phone. When I came from Denmark for my appointment, which was supposedly for treatment and advice for a broken finger, I was made to wait for over an hour to see Dr W, who didn’t appear to be remotely interested in my finger, only in the surgery scars. The doctor asked to take photos, which they could use to prove what a good job they did stapling me back together, even though there were some disagreements within the surgical team about closing the wounds.

When I asked what I should do about my finger, the doctor walked me down to the Occupational therapy (OT), expecting they would see me straight away. Understandably, they weren't able to fit me in immediately. Why wasn't I already in their system?

I got nothing from the visit. In a time when I should have been resting and recovering, I was forced to travel from Denmark and wait for over an hour for nothing. Very poor.

And then I had to come back again for the original purpose of making a new splint for my finger. Up until then, which was by then over 2 weeks after the surgery on my broken finger, I was still wearing the temporary splint placed in the Emergency Department on the night of my admission. I wasn't even told how to care for the wounds, therefore they went unwashed for all that time.

After hearing nothing from the surgical team, I asked a nurse friend to make enquiries on my behalf and finally was contacted by Dr W. During our conversation regarding an appointment for the removal of my K-wires, I requested a physio referral to treat my surgical scars, but Dr W did not support my request. I felt the doctor’s suggestions were no better than guesses and I hung up feeling once again frustrated by my dealings with the surgery department.

I ended up consulting my nurse friend and Google, instead of the so-called medical professionals at your hospital. Very poor again.

Last week, I finally got my wires removed. I was told by several administration staff members that my procedure would be done under local anaesthetic, as was the case when the wires were inserted. I was nervous remembering the pain associated with the shots into my finger, but was told that I couldn't have a pre-med, as I would need to be admitted. I was sent to day surgery to wait for over 3 hours. At first, I was told that my doctor wasn't even in yet, then after 2 hours, that he was in a long surgery.

When Dr B finally arrived to see me, they was very surprised to see me in day surgery, rather than clinic, as the procedure did not require any kind of anaesthetic at all and was completed in around 20 seconds, in an unoccupied office, on a tissue on the desk.

Why did every receptionist and nurse I spoke to, tell me that I would be getting a local? Why was I sent to surgery instead of clinic? Terrible communication and a lack of personal care. I am very unimpressed.

At this time, I am still awaiting a doctor's report to be sent by email, requested and promised, more than a month ago and reminded again last week. I have also not been contacted by the OT or physio department in regards to referral for my finger and surgical scars and injuries. I don't even know if I am supposed to contact them or if they will contact me.

What a letdown after all the hard work and excellent inpatient treatment! Like day and night. I hope you really take notice of my feedback, as your service has so much going for it, but I feel much improvement is needed to get to best practice standard.

Responses

Response from WACHS - Great Southern 3 years ago
Submitted on 10/10/2016 at 18:44
Published on Care Opinion on 11/10/2016 at 11:52


Dear Dee Mac

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences on the Albany Health Campus. I would like to assure you that we genuinely value all the feedback that we receive as it helps us to identify and share areas for improvement and on occasion celebrate areas of excellence.

I am very sorry that you found your interactions with some of our surgical team to be inappropriate and unprofessional and that on at least one occasion this added to your anxiety. It is also disappointing to hear of the confusion around your follow up appointment with our surgical team and your referral back to one of our smaller hospitals for ongoing wound management. We will use your feedback as a learning opportunity across the organisation to ensure that other patients do not have the same or similar experience. We know how important communication is and we are always striving to improve how we communicate with each other, our patients and other key stakeholders.

As you have also contacted us directly I have asked our Consumer Engagement Coordinator to phone you to ensure that you have all the relevant documentation and referrals you require. She will work with you to ensure that you have everything in place to facilitate a speedy recovery.

I hope that your recovery continues to be on track.

With best wishes

Dr Mahesh Reddy

WACHS GS Regional Medical Director

Albany Health Campus

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Update posted by Dee Mac (the patient)

Thank you, Dr Reddy. It was very helpful to have a tool to air my frustration. Even more satisfying is the clear evidence that my experience will serve to help those involved to understand the patient experience and hopefully avoid such problems in the future.

I have been contacted by CAPS.

Thank you,

Dee

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