"ED and Mental Health Unit"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Emergency Department Fiona Stanley Hospital / Mental Health Services

(as the patient),

I was told by the Fiona Stanley Hospital that the procedure if someone has come in suicidal ideation, they are supervised constantly in emergency. This is what I experienced when I was taken there after an attempted suicide last year.

I had a supervisor stuck to my side while I was in emergency (6hrs) until I was transferred to the mental health unit. While in the mental health unit, I think I saw the psychiatrist twice and both times for no longer than 5 minutes each time.

I had a supervisor stuck to my side while I was in emergency (6hrs) until I was transferred to the mental health unit. While in the mental health unit, I think I saw the psychiatrist twice and both times for no longer than 5 minutes each time.

The nurses were very good but I felt it was like being a caged animal. 2 visitors rooms, which I believe can only be accessed by a staff member, and your visit comprises of sitting in this tiny glass room to talk to a loved one because it's a secure unit. My sister came to visit me and had to wait in the corridor for nearly 3 hours to wait until one of the rooms were free.

I witnessed on multiple occasions patients asking if they could make a phone call or if they could talk to their psychiatrist and believe they were told yes it would happen within the hr and then told that again and again. I feel it is extremely frustrating to be told something all day and for it to not happen. In my opinion, being in there makes you feel less of a person anyway and to be made to feel like you have no voice and are not important enough for someone who is meant to be caring for you to even listen is horrid.

I think Western Australia has to seriously restructure the mental health system we currently have and really start to use taxpayers money to try and start making it better.

Responses

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service last week
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 01/07/2020 at 15:00
Published on Care Opinion at 15:01


picture of Neil Doverty

Dear taurussw57,

I was very sorry to read of your battles with your mental health, and your experience whilst an inpatient at our hospital.

When patients present to the Emergency Department (ED) they are assessed by the ED medical team and can also be referred to the Mental Health team. Either team will complete a clinical assessment to determine if a patient requires supervision and if so, the level of supervision required. It is difficult to provide you with accurate information without your details, however it appears that the ED medical team assessment and the Mental Health’s team assessment of supervision requirements differed, in your case.

Again, I do not know specifically which inpatient ward(s) you were admitted to or how long you were an inpatient for, however in the mental health unit patients are reviewed daily by the treating team which includes Consultant Psychiatrist, Registrar, Nursing staff and members of the allied health team. So patients may not see the Psychiatrist every day, comprehensive care is provided by the multidisciplinary team.

I do apologise that your sister had to wait to visit you; this time frame is unacceptable and has been raised with the unit for attention and an assurance that a situation like your sisters will not happen again.

Patients do have access to landline phones on all of our inpatient wards and mobile phones are not restricted for patients unless under extreme circumstances when the Mental health Act 2014 would be applied.

I am glad to hear you felt that the nursing staff were very good. However, it is disappointing that your overall experience made you feel frustrated and less of a person. This is not the experience we want our patients to have at Fiona Stanley Hospital and acknowledge that improvements constantly need to be made to improve the physical environment and the care that we deliver to our community.

We would like to hear from you so that we can properly investigate the circumstances surrounding your admission. If you would like to, please contact our Patient and Family Liaison Service on 6152 4013 or by email FSHFeedback@health.wa.gov.au

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

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

Updates, changes and questions related to this story