About: Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Goldfields

(as a staff member),

In my opinion, getting patients' flights to Kalgoorlie via PATS is by far the most difficult of any PATS office. I believe patients who have had total hip and knee replacements are told they need to take the train or bus home.

I feel it is a joke to thinks someone who is considered a high falls risk, on strong analgesia and using crutches can safely use the bathroom on a moving vehicle. Only after contacting the office multiple times with an explanation of this for every patient that we discharge does a PATS flight get approved (and not for every case as some people have their cars here having driven the 6 hours as they were refused a flight pre-op).

In my opinion, this is discriminatory care as no other PATS office is this difficult and therefore patients who are in Kalgoorlie are offered a substandard service due purely to their regional location. Please review processes and accept that every patient who has had a joint replacement is high risk for DVT and falls and deserves a flight home, not an unsteady extended ride on a bus or train. 


Response from Peter Tredinnick, A/Regional Director, Regional Office, WACHS Goldfields last month
We are preparing to make a change
Peter Tredinnick
A/Regional Director, Regional Office,
WACHS Goldfields

Regional Director

Submitted on 30/10/2020 at 15:51
Published on Care Opinion at 15:53

picture of Peter Tredinnick

Dear Fair Service for all,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

I am sorry to hear of your experience with the Patient Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS) in Kalgoorlie. The PATS scheme is designed to support patients to access care not available in the local community and we aim for all of our patients and their families and carers to have equitable access to specialist medical services.

I would like to assure you that the safety and wellbeing of our patients is paramount. As a result of your feedback, I am arranging a meeting with the Regional Medical Director and PATS clerks to discuss the issues you have raised and review our processes, specifically regarding joint replacement patients and flight approval processes.

More broadly, the WA Country Health Service is making a significant investment in a new PATS online portal system that will improve the experience for our country patients and their families and carers. We are currently seeking to engage consumers in this service reform project and would appreciate any support you may be able to provide. If you are able to help in any way, please feel free to contact Kate Ballard, who is our Program Manager for PATS, via email at kate.ballard@health.wa.gov.au.

Also, if you would like to discuss the concerns you have raised, please do not hesitate to contact Margaret Smillie who is the Goldfields PATS Coordinator on 9079 8071 or via email at margaret.smillie@health.wa.gov.au

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. We genuinely value and appreciate all feedback so that we can continue to learn and improve what we do.

Yours sincerely

Peter Tredinnick

Regional Director


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