"Poor treatment of the sick and elderly"

About: Peter James Centre

(as a friend),

I am writing this about a recent experience of my partner's parent who attended Peter James after being sent there from another hospital with Delirium and their Alzheimer.

Upon arrival, I believe my partner's parent (the patient) was taken to Centre Ward and into a room that was depressing in my opinion, with needing a good coat of paint. From there it seemed like the patient was just sent to the back of the hospital to die. Because of previously having cancer there was a sign on the back of their bed that they could only have blood taken from one arm but as the patient's spouse and child walked in I believe the nurse was taking it from the wrong arm and said they were not advised, but there it was in black and white. 

Also every day that the patient's child was there they would shower and attend to their parent's toilet needs and I believe not very often did any of the nurses come in and say "hi" or how are you going. Only to distribute medication. Physio was arranged and advised to the family and I believe nothing happened so they just did a last-minute let's get the patient in. I came in one time to find their bed unmade and a pad lying on the bed and this was mid-morning.

Upon discharge is my real beef, firstly to have discharge in the morning for elderly people is, I feel, unbelievable when they require showering and attention. The patient's spouse and myself arrived and they were sitting in the communal tea area with their pants inside out and no shower I believe. Not a pleasant sight for their spouse to see upon discharge, with just a big black bag with their personal items etc. We had arrived a few minutes after discharge so not even time for us to go through the room to make sure all had been collected. To present the patient in that manner is disgraceful in my opinion. Then we stood around to try and find out what was to happen with discharge, after waiting around for 30 mins an OT came to us to discuss items and apologised for the lack of attention. Then we waited for pharmacy and still after that, we were told to wait for the nurse, still, no one came to our attention. I questioned the main reception area and expressed my dissatisfaction regarding the way the patient had been presented. They indicated that they had washed the patient and put their pants on the right way but as I said they should be checking on them to ensure that the patient was presented to the family in a respectful manner. They did change the patient into the clothes that their spouse had placed out the night before for them to come home in.

Still waiting and our frustration and the patient not understanding what was going on. I said to the nurse can we get our discharge papers, they went to see but I believe they were obviously too busy and said they would send this out with also the plate guard which I believe they forgot to arrange which was discussed with OT. It is now over a week and I had to go to Peter James to ask for discharged papers and plate guard. No OT around and I believe no one knew about it. Went to Centre Ward and they just printed out the discharge papers.

I don't normally complain but I would hope that the sick and elderly are not treated this way but in that particular area of the centre, it would appear this may be the case. I hope that systems will be reviewed and that good old fashion care for patients would be remembered.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 3 months ago
David Plunkett
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 18/03/2020 at 11:01
Published on Care Opinion at 11:02

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Elderly,

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide comments on the experience you and your parent had at Eastern Health’s Peter James Centre. I am very sorry your expectations were not met and that we were not able to provide information, communication and the required support to enable you and your family to care for your parent upon discharge home.

You have raised a number of really important issues that need to be reviewed. As such, I would like to invite you to contact one of our Patient Relations Advisors in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience either by calling 1800 EASTERN or by emailing feedback@easternhealth.org.au. If you choose to call please be aware that it is possible that the Patient Relations Advisors may be on another call at the time you ring and if so you will be invited to leave a message so they can return your call.

Kind regards,


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