"Lack of care while in hospital"

About: Geraldton Hospital

(as a relative),

My parent was taken to PACS to have their ulcerated wound redressed recently and it was suggested they go to the Emergency Department at Geraldton Regional Hospital by the staff from PACS as the wound smelled and was horrendous.

My parent's friend took them to PACS and these were their words. 
My parent's ankle & toes were swollen and the redness was travelling up to their knee. 
The stench from the foot was absolutely disgusting and their friend demanded my parent get sent to ED and the PACS staff agreed. 
My parent was admitted to hospital and both my parent and their friend was told that they would be in hospital for 5 days and an IV drip antibiotic. 
My parent gave their possessions, including keys and money to their friend to take home for them. My parent's friend went and picked them up 5 days of clothes and took them back to the hospital.   
The hospital rang me and asked could I be put down as next of kin and I said yes and gave them my details (name and phone number) and told them I had returned to Perth and would not be back in Geraldton for another week and a half, so could they please take my parent's friend's phone number as they were the only person in Geraldton that was there to care for my parent. The friend's number was taken by the hospital clerk. 

A doctor contacted me and said my parent had an infection and needed to stay in hospital, so I messaged them details of my parent's doctor's report as well as medical history and medications. 

Now this is where my complaint starts:

My parent was definitely not given the duty of care that they should have been given in the opinion of both myself and my parent's friend.

The information below was given to me by my parent's friend:

Day 1 - the hospital started the IV drip. My parent was told they could shower and get the wound wet. 

(PACS had told my parent they were not to get this wound wet)

The wound was not dressed (as far as I have been told).

Day 2 -my parent was told they could go home and the hospital would organize them to receive the IV drips at home twice a day. The wound had still not been dressed and was open to the air. The hospital did not ring me as their next of kin, nor did they ring my parent's friend to say my parent could go back home! 

My parent was told the hospital will ring them a taxi to get home. 

No one asked my parent if they had house keys or money to pay the taxi. 

Fortunately, my parent's friend went up to the hospital to see them and my parent told them this is what they had said (as I have been told). My parent's friend was fuming that my parent was being discharged, and we (the family) are all upset that no-one was contacted about the details of my parent's situation. 

The friend then took my parent home in their car and when they went to get out of the car, my parent's long pants rolled up as they were getting out the car, revealing that the wound had not yet been dressed and when they asked my parent if they had dressed it at the hospital, they said no not at all. 

I do not think we are overreacting, this has concerned our family a lot as my parent lives alone at home and we need to be notified if they are discharged from hospital and what is happening with their care.

I do expect a response to this!


Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS-Midwest 2 years ago
Michele Young
Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services,
Submitted on 16/11/2017 at 12:40
Published on Care Opinion at 12:41

picture of Michele Young

Dear concerned family

Thank you for taking the time to share you and your parents experience on Patient Opinion. I was very concerned when I read your story and so very sorry that you and your parent experienced our service in this way. I understand how upsetting it can be when a loved one is not well particularly when you are away from them and I can assure you that you are not overreacting. Your experience does not meet our commitment to providing high quality patient centred care and the concerns you have outlined are not reflective of our values, particularly that of compassion and the service standards that we strive for.

I have discussed your story with Derek Fraser, Geraldton Hospital Operations Manager and to allow us an opportunity to investigate this matter and discuss the concerns you have raised we would really appreciate it if you could make contact. Derek is available on 9956 2369 or alternatively you can contact me on 9956 8695 or email michele.young@health.wa.gov.au your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish. The information you provide will allow us to identify exactly where things went wrong. Please be assured of our commitment to address the issues you have raised.

Thank you again for making contact, we really appreciate your feedback for without it we would not be aware of the issues and would not have the opportunity to improve our service. I hope that your parent is well on the road to recovery and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards


  • concerned family thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} other {{helpful-1 == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} so too

Update posted by concerned family (a relative)

Thank you Michelle for your response.

It is good to see complaints like this are not falling on deaf ears.

I have tried to ring both numbers above but got the answering machine so have left my number for someone to call me so we can discuss this further.


concerned family

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS-Midwest 2 years ago
Michele Young
Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services,
Submitted on 17/11/2017 at 17:28
Published on Care Opinion at 17:34

picture of Michele Young

Dear concerned family

Thank you for getting in touch, Derek Fraser Geraldton Hospital Operations Manager has advised me that he has now spoken to you. The information you have provided to Derek will assist us in undertaking a full investigation of your complaint.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion, again I am sorry that you have experienced our service in this way. Your feedback will allow us the opportunity to see how we can do things better and to ensure that the experience you described does not happen again.

Kind regards


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by concerned family (a relative)

As a concerned daughter of my patient mother I was so pleased with the response I got from my letter to patientopinion.org.au

Michele Young and Dereck Fraser have responded and are following up my complaint.

It was very helpful to talk to Dereck Fraser and explain how tough it's been for my mum and she is still a chronic patient at home. I feel Derek related to my mother's suffering with her ulcerated leg and infection. As her daughter I am not sure what can be done now as she is in terrible pain 24 hours a day and refuses to go back to the hospital. I await an outcome.

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