"Fiona Stanley Hospital"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Cardiothoracic Surgery & Transplantation & Ward 4C Fiona Stanley Hospital / ICU Intensive Care Unit

(as a carer),

I would like to acknowledge the wonderful cardio-thoracic team at Fiona Stanley Hospital who cared for my mum post her cardiac surgery this includes the surgeon, medical, nursing, allied health and support works in ICU & 4C. Where the journey was not so pleasant was in the angiography unit. The pre-procedure & post op care was fine, what wasn’t good was somehow knowing you need to wait to be called in, all you're told is arrive at 7 am fasting. Post angiogram the staff lacked clarity. At one point I was told by a nurse in what I felt was a condescending way to leave even though numerous other nurses said I could stay. Then over the next 2 weeks there were 4 times when Mum's surgery was cancelled, which caused her a great deal of stress. Perhaps some staff need skills in better communication, consistency in policies post angiogram and improved knowledge of the experiences & needs of country patients is needed. Staff need education about the needs of country patients who often travel very long distances to get to Fiona Stanley Hospital and many don’t have the family support that my mum had. A big city hospital is scary and intimidating and if family is present they should be able to support there loved one.

In my opinion, the transit lounge is the worst place I have ever visited. We got dropped off by a very friendly guy, then not one person approached us to explain how it works. Fortunately the cardiothoracic doctor came and organised the discharge paperwork. Three hours later we received Mum's discharge medications (which were explained twice by the pharmacist & a nurse), like the discharge letter was explained twice by the doctor & nurse. Given I was told on a Saturday that mum was being discharged on Tuesday,  surely the medications could have been organised the day before discharge to minimise the wait time. Finally my mum is now on warfarin & we have to locate a GP to follow up on her INR (international normalised ratio - blood clotting) and adjust the warfarin dose. Given she is not from Perth & she has to stay 1 week to see the cardio-thoracic surgeon, why can’t this not be done through Silver Chain or Hospital in the Home? Please, please ask your staff to learn about & show more compassion and an understanding to country patients. Respect for families is very important & that treating me (also a health care professional), I felt - like I’m an idiot, is very patronising and unprofessional.  


Response from Janet Zagari, Executive Director Transformation, South Metropolitan Health Service, South Metropolitan Health Service 17 months ago
Janet Zagari
Executive Director Transformation, South Metropolitan Health Service,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 31/10/2018 at 17:31
Published on Care Opinion at 17:35

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear Cared for a Country Patient,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences following your mother’s recent cardiac surgery. I am delighted to hear your feedback regarding your positive interactions with the cardiothoracic and intensive care unit staff. This kind of feedback is very much appreciated by our staff and will be shared with all the teams.

However, I was very sorry to hear about some of the aspects of care you described which did not meet your expectations. Without a doubt, patients who come to Fiona Stanley Hospital from the country face unique challenges in accessing their required care. Efforts are made to try to plan and coordinate this care as much as possible in collaboration with each individual patient, and I sincerely apologise that this was not your experience.

Your feedback regarding the angiography department has been shared with the department managers and staff. The angiography department has a comprehensive suite of policies and procedures which are used pre and post angiograms. The importance of these and of clear and sensitive communication will be highlighted to staff. We are always keen to improve our practices, and if you have any specific recommendations regarding how we could have improved the inclusion of family/carers in your mum’s we would love to hear them.

When patients are transferred to the Transit Lounge they should be greeted by a staff member who confirms the patient’s identity, clarifies with the patient what they are waiting for and then directs the patient to a seat. Staff in the Transit Lounge should then communicate with the patient at least hourly regarding the progress of items they are waiting for. Unfortunately at times with the number of patients moving through the lounge, there can be delays in these processes. I apologise that this was your experience.

Efforts are made wherever possible to arrange discharge paperwork, including medication prescription, ahead of time, however sometimes there may be changes in medications right up until the time of discharge.

We have also taken on board your feedback regarding the difficulties you experienced in finding a Perth GP to attend to investigations following your mother’s discharge from hospital. We have contacted Silver Chain to explore their capacity to offer the kind of service you describe and this may be possible in some cases. This information has been shared with our cardiothoracic team to assist with future patient discharge planning.

If you would like to discuss your mum’s individual circumstances and/or any additional recommendations you have for us to improve our services further, I would encourage you to contact our Patient and Family Liaison Service on 6152 4013 or via email: fshfeedback@health.wa.gov.au, who will be happy to look into this further with you.

Kind regards

Janet Zagari

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