"Hospital stay"

About: Kununurra Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

I recently stayed in Kununurra Hospital with my child who was unwell with a respiratory type illness. My child was swabbed for COVID-19 in the Emergency Department and then it was decided we would be admitted to the ward, where we would be in isolation until the results were received. 

Although in isolation I found that many staff members were not wearing correct PPE, or any PPE at all when entering our room and that we were given confusing advice about the visitation allowed and about leaving the room after we were admitted.

During our stay on the ward, while my child was on oxygen, there was a particular day where we were not seen or reviewed by a doctor at all, as well as having no observations taken between 7 am and 2:30 pm by nursing staff, despite requiring hourly observations while being on oxygen. When I called the bell and asked for my child to be reviewed I was told the ward was understaffed due to sick calls and that my child had not been allocated to a nurse that shift. 

As a health care professional myself, I was able to monitor my child, however, felt that while my child was unwell it was my role to be their parent and not their nurse. I found the communication between the doctors and the nurses and myself/my child was in my opinion, incredibly poor, I had to ask several times for information and to be reviewed when it was needed. 

The cleaning staff were fantastic and very thorough, however, only coming in once per day, meant that the bins were full and overflowing, and became ridden with ants due to food scraps inside. The food service was terrible in my opinion, we were given one 600ml bottle of water in our entire 3 days stay, the remainder of the time a family member had to bring bottled water into us to drop off. My child was fed party pies and processed chicken fingers and it was left outside our door until it was stone cold and they were so starving I had to call the bell to ask if they were able to have something to eat. As a boarder, I received one meal in our entire 3 days/nights stay, the remainder of the time, family members dropped food off to me.

I was so let down and disappointed by so many aspects of our stay, and whilst I understand the pressures of caring for a patient who is isolated, I hope this is never the experience of another patient.        


Response from Bec Smith, Regional Director, WACHS - Kimberley last week
Bec Smith
Regional Director,
WACHS - Kimberley
Submitted on 15/10/2020 at 09:57
Published on Care Opinion at 10:00

picture of Bec Smith

Dear Anon ymous,

Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience at Kununurra Hospital and providing us with an opportunity for genuine reflection and improvement.

I read your post with real concern and wanted to extend my sincerest apologies for what must have been a dreadful experience.

I have personally spoken with the Operations Manager for the East Kimberley and asked that this be investigated and immediate improvements are made where appropriate.

This is not an experience that anyone should have in any of our health services and I would like to make sure no-one else has the same experience in the future. Your input into our review would be really valuable and I am hoping to speak with you to discuss the issues you have raised in more detail.

If you are happy to speak with me, I would appreciate it if you would call me on (08) 9195 2850 or you can email wachskregionaldirect@health.wa.gov.au.

I trust your child is feeling much better now and I am looking forward to speaking with you soon.


Bec Smith

Regional Director

WACHS Kimberley

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

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