"Premature discharge"

About: Bentley Hospital

(as a volunteer/advocate),

I am a consumer advocate and have been asked to upload this story on behalf of a consumer. The consumer told me that they have experienced mental health issues for some time and recently they were feeling very depressed and used alcohol and other drugs in a bid to block out their suffering. In the days that followed, this person's low mood took a dramatic decline, which led them to make an attempt to end their life.  Wanting to receive help, this person presented to Fiona Stanley Hospital where their physical injuries were treated before they were transferred to Bentley Hospital as a mental health inpatient. The patient eventually saw a psychiatrist, but was disappointed that the meeting only lasted for 5 minutes. The patient asked to meet with a social worker, which did not occur. To the patient's surprise, only a few days after admission, they were told they were being discharged. The patient told staff they didn’t feel well enough for discharge, but this didn’t change the decision. Feeling too unwell to leave the hospital alone, the patient's friend agreed to collect them in the afternoon after the friend finished their work shift. The patient was asked to attend their discharge meeting, but upon arriving felt very overwhelmed by the presence a number of staff. Feeling intimidated, patient didn’t enter the room and instead went outside. The patient isn’t sure what was discussed in the meeting and nothing was conveyed to them. Later, the patient told a member staff that they had felt too intimidated by the number of people in the room. To the patient's knowledge, no follow up was arranged post discharge. Despite the patient having already told staff that their friend would arrive after work, the patient recalls the staff were repeatedly asking them to leave. The patient says this left them feeling in the way and pushed out.The patient felt that the discharge was premature given they were still feeling very vulnerable. Soon after discharge, due to feelings of crisis and hopelessness, the patient consumed alcohol and other drugs. The patient says the suicidal thoughts returned and in a bid to get help they presented to Joondalup Health Campus and was admitted as an inpatient for care and treatment for a number of weeks. 

The patient believes that Bentley hospital failed them at a time when within psychological distress.


Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group nearly 2 years ago
Lesley Bennett
Executive Director,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 22/11/2018 at 18:24
Published on Care Opinion on 23/11/2018 at 09:45

picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear ella1712

Thank you for advocating for this patient and please pass on my apologies for causing distress, it would never be our intention to make someone feel this way. Without specific details it is difficult for me to comment on why staff made the decision to discharge this patient. However I can tell you that all consumers are invited to a discharge meeting which is a multidisciplinary meeting with social workers, nurses and medical staff. The consumer then has the opportunity to discuss what supportive structures they have in place at home to assist them. It would be at this meeting that they would work with the social work team. A seven day follow up then occurs, in the form of a phone call. In this case, the consumer would have already have been admitted to Joondalup Health Campus and therefore would have missed this call.

Once again I apologise for how the consumer was made to feel and I invite them to contact Jill, the Coordinator of Nursing at Bentley who will be able to discuss their discharge in more detail, on 9416 3522. I encourage them to get in contact as this is a learning opportunity for us and we can use the feedback to improve our service.

Kind regards

Dr Lesley Bennett

Acting Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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

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