"Waiting for an appointment"
About: Bentley Hospital / Older Adult & Falls & Memory Clinics & Day Therapy Unit Bentley Hospital Older Adult & Falls & Memory Clinics & Day Therapy Unit Bentley 6102 Fremantle Hospital and Health Service Fremantle Hospital and Health Service Fremantle 6160
Posted by sambarb38 (as ),
Back in end of February my dad’s doctor did a referral to the Gerontology Department because at 91 years of age he was becoming forgetful and maybe he could be a candidate for a medication that might slow down the progression of his loss of memory. We were warned it may take up to three months to get an appointment. On 21st June we received two letters (in separate envelopes) advising us that he had an appointment at Fremantle Hospital on Wednesday 18th July at 1.00pm to see the nurse and 1.30pm to see the doctor. Then on 27th June we received two more letters advising that the appointment had been rescheduled to Tuesday 7th August at 2.30pm to see the nurse and 3.00pm to see the doctor. On the 3rd August Dad received a phone call to confirm the appointment. Because he is hard of hearing and has memory/thinking issues he didn’t understand what they wanted and asked me to check it. Which I did and confirmed the appointment. On the morning of the 7th August I received a phone call saying the appointment had been cancelled as the doctor was sick, and that we would receive a letter advising the new reschedule date. Whoever I found this person to be rude and advised that they were a temp and just filling in. On the 9th August we received a letter advising that the appointment had been rescheduled to 9th October at 12.30 to see the nurse and 1.00pm to see the doctor. Note: the letter states to allow up to three hours for the clinic appointment and my Dad lives 40-45 minutes from the hospital. Because of his age my Dad is set in his ways and he needs to eat and take tablets in the middle of the day and also has his regular scheduled respite trip Tuesday mornings, I felt that this time (12.30 pm) was not optimal for him. I phoned Outpatient Direct and spoke to a person who I felt was the rudest person. She advised that she couldn’t change the appointment and that all she could do was send a message to the clinic to change it and we would be advised by mail. During our exchange I explained the reason for the change request and that an earlier or later time would be better for him. On 13th August we received a letter advising that the appointment had been rescheduled to Tuesday 30th October at 12.30pm the exact time I requested it not to be. I rang Outpatient Direct and spoke to a lovely lady who tried to reschedule the appointment for me even ringing back twice in an effort to find an appointment that was not months away and not in the middle of the day. She explained the issue was that it was difficult to schedule the doctor and nurse half an hour apart as the doctor seemed to have more appointments that the nurse. After much effort I advised that it was all too hard and that we would keep the appointment on the 30th October at 12.30 and I would pack a lunch for Dad and deal with the emotional fall out. On the 17th August we received two new letters. One stating the appointment of the 30th October had been rescheduled to the 30th October at 12.30pm and the other one advising that it had been rescheduled to 30th October at 3.00pm. I am assuming that these were generated when the lovely lady I spoke with was trying to reschedule for a later time for me.
Meanwhile, while all this has been happening Dad has had several appointments at the Bentley Hospital aged care clinic where the doctor administered a short memory tests and prescribed Donepezil to my Dad.
Now part of my frustration is that the letters state that if you ‘defer your appointment for a period exceeding 90 days without good reason, you may not be allocated a further appointment and your referral may be removed from the system’, yet the hospital can keep rescheduling ad nauseam. My frustration also includes what I felt was the rudeness of the person I spoke to at Outpatient Direct, as well as the fact that no one can explain to me what the difference is between the Bentley Aged Care Clinic and the Gerontology Department at Fremantle Hospital.