"My mother's experience transferring to a hospital closer to home."
About: Barham Koondrook Soldiers Memorial Hospital Barham Koondrook Soldiers Memorial Hospital Barham 2732 Echuca Hospital Echuca Hospital Echuca 3564 Kerang Hospital / Urgent Care Centre Kerang Hospital Urgent Care Centre Kerang 3579
Posted by Patient Daughter (as ),
My parent was in Barham Hospital for continuing vomiting several hours after eating. It was found on CT scan, that my parent had a small bowel obstruction, so they were rushed to Echuca Hospital for immediate surgery. During the surgery, a temporary stoma was created as they couldn’t connect the bowel to my parent's existing stoma (from their bowel cancer a number of years earlier). The stoma was reversed a week or so later. My parent continued to be tube fed and had ups and downs with vomiting and nausea. After almost a month and a half in Echuca Hospital, my parent was anxious to get closer to home as they were feeling isolated from family and friends. We all live more than one hour from the surgical hospital my parent was admitted in Victoria. My parent requested to be transferred to Kerang, so I could help them and keep an eye on them while they finished recovering from the 2 surgeries. My parent’s weight dropped to 34kg during this time and my parent was tube fed quite a bit as well.
Echuca contacted Kerang and spoke to a senior staff member. This staff member said Kerang would be okay to have my parent as long as my parent wasn't still on the TPN (total parenteral nutrition) feed drip in their PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line. Echuca also rang the Kerang Medical Clinic in order to speak to one of the doctors about accepting my parent as his patient for the transfer. My parent had seen this doctor when he was working in Barham, as well as two other doctors. According to my parent and Echuca Hospital, the Kerang Medical Clinic did not return any of the ½ dozen calls made to them with regard to this. My parent was highly stressed about this and asked Echuca to try ringing Barham Hospital instead. Barham Hospital accepted my parent back on the spot and my parent was transferred by family back to Barham. My parent was then discharged and is now home. My parent will be getting home help, etc. for the next 4-6 weeks.
My question is this: If Barham could accept my parent back as a patient (without consulting the doctor) why could Kerang not accept them back? I was a little disappointed that this happened and no explanation was really given other than a comment that if my parent was only convalescent care they wouldn’t be accepted. The message was that my parent had to be medical care or surgical care. As my parent had just had 2 operations and a PICC line in for security should they start vomiting again, how is my parent not considered a medical patient? My parent was severely malnourished and needing dressings daily for the second stoma which was treated as an open wound.
Could you please explain to myself and my family why Barham Hospital could accept my parent so readily, but Kerang (which is a bigger hospital with more facilities and more doctors visiting) could not?