"Poor after hospital care"
About: Broome Health Campus / Allied Health Broome Health Campus Allied Health Broome 6725
Posted by Hospital Transport (as ),
In my retirement role as a Multi Purpose Taxi Driver [Wheelchair], I received a call to uplift a person in a wheelchair from Broome Hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital I noted an elderly person in a wheelchair ‘parked’ outside the hospital door. When I asked them if they were the person I had to transport, it became apparent they was being uncommunicative. It could also be noted they appeared angry and truculent. Some Aborigine ladies in the vicinity verified this person was in fact the person I was looking for. So I loaded them into the taxi and transported them to the assigned address. Upon arrival there were a number of people who were drinking. They informed me they did not want the person, as they were all shortly heading off. They suggested another family in another street. There was no one at that address. I phoned the Hospital Manager to advise her of the situation and to request involvement of Social Work or Aboriginal Liaison Service. Shortly thereafter an ALO (aboriginal liaison officer) arrived, but I felt was of no practical assistance. I decided to return the patient to the hospital and advised the ALO of my intentions. The patient was returned to Broome Hospital around 40 minutes later.
The next day, I received a call from the hospital to again transport the same person to the first address as the previous day. At the hospital, before loading the patient into the taxi, I spoke to another ALO and informed them I was not happy transporting this patient unaccompanied. I felt there was not much interest shown. This time at the address there was obviously someone in the house, so I removed the patient from the taxi and wheeled them into the shade of the carport and informed the occupants that the patient was there. I then phoned the Duty Manager at the hospital to inform her and to request she note my actions in the patient's clinical file.
The following day, for the 3rd time in 3 days, I was again called to the hospital to uplift the same patient. On arrival at the hospital I informed the Duty Manager that I would not transport the patient without an escort. A short while later, seemingly not particularly happy, an ALO escorted my taxi to the same address where I again deposited the patient in the apparent care of the occupants and the ALO.
I believe the Clinical Staff at Broome Hospital did what they could, but as a retired healthcare worker, I am of the strong opinion that in these and similar circumstances a greater involvement from Social Work/ALO's should be in the protocols. I do not believe taxi drivers should have sole responsibility in such cases