"Seemingly incompetent doctor"

About: Karratha Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

I have had to see this same dr twice now, once for my toddler who had walked through a campfire and once for my young child who their GP suspected had appendicitis and sent us to the ED.

The first time we were treated by this dr for my child’s burns, they seemed frazzled, was loading with PCH burns unit but when it came to dressing my toddler's burns, the nurses often had to tell the dr to stop, that they couldn’t put that dressing on without the ointment.

The nurses were incredible, but I believe this dr kept making mistakes so I felt I had to ask for the nurses to be present every time this dr tried to do anything as I felt they were constantly having to stop the dr and correct their treatment.

Then the dr begins to tell my spouse in front of me how nice it is that we are childhood sweethearts (we aren't) and my spouse told the dr we weren’t, so asked me why I told the dr that. I hadn’t even had a conversation about my husband and I with the dr at all, it was very strange - like they just imagined a conversation that never took place.

I had to take my young child to the ED after seeing our GP for suspected appendicitis recently. This same dr told me my child had an anti-nausea wafer which they had not, nor were they nauseous at the time. I was with my child the whole time, but the dr was certain my child had been given one, then proceeded to COVID test my child without any warning for them or permission or warning from me. My child had no temp, cough, sore throat, only a runny nose.

My child was very surprised and shocked by the random swab up their nose with no warning or explanation about what the dr was doing. Then listened to my child's lungs, squeezed their upper abdomen once and sent us home, did not feel my child's lower abdomen where their  pain and tenderness was.

If I have to go back to the ED I will refuse to be treated or let this dr treat any of my children. On a good note, the nurses that have looked after us are incredible and very capable, caring and amazing.  


Response from Liam Avery, A/Operations Manager, West Pilbara, WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara last week
Liam Avery
A/Operations Manager, West Pilbara,
WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara
Submitted on 24/06/2020 at 15:58
Published on Care Opinion on 25/06/2020 at 08:57

Dear Parentx4,

Thank you for sharing your story with us about two attendances with your children at our Emergency Department (ED).

I’m very concerned to hear about your experiences and I’m so sorry for the distress and confusion that these events would have caused you, your spouse and your children.

In relation to your child’s treatment for burns, you quite rightly should expect that the Doctor would lead the application of wound dressings for your child’s burns and not require the direction of our nursing staff in undertaking this procedure. In this regard, I will be speaking with Dr Coert Kruger, our Senior Medical Officer and Emily Davis, who is the Clinical Nurse Manager in the ED, to review this process and ensure that this does not happen to another patient and their family.

With regard to your child being given a COVID-19 swab without any explanation or reason for doing so, I sincerely apologise. This is an invasive procedure which must have been very distressing and difficult for you to comprehend; especially given the nature of your child’s presentation for a suspected appendicitis.

Along with the commentary from the Doctor about your personal relationship, you must be feeling very confused and concerned about your experiences with this member of the medical team.

In relation to all of the feedback you have provided to us, I have already spoken with Dr Cherelle Fitzclarence, who is our Regional Medical Director, along with Dr Coert Kruger. On their behalf I would like to assure you that the actions of this Doctor are far from what we expect from our medical professionals and we will be undertaking a review of the clinical cases involving this particular Doctor.

So that I can understand more about what happened and investigate your experiences more fully, I would greatly appreciate it if you contact me directly. My name is Liam Avery and I am the Acting Operations Manager for West Pilbara. Please feel free to email me at liam.avery@health.wa.gov.au or call me on 9144 7630.

In closing, I really do appreciate your kind words about our Nursing staff and I will make sure that these are passed on to the team.

Liam Avery,

A/Operations Manager West Pilbara

WA Country Health Service Pilbara

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