"Staff attention and attitude"

About: Joondalup Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I would like to draw your attention to conditions at Joondalup Health Campus (JHC).

My elderly spouse took ill around mid-day recently, I called an ambulance and they were taken to JHC 2 hours later.

I went to JHC Emergency Department and was advised that my spouse was in the corridor in the care of the paramedics, I don’t know what time they got a bed in ED but I was advised later they were in there and I could see them, this was about 6 hours after they became ill. I understand they had been there about 45 – 60 minutes.

My spouse had blood taken and was on a saline drip. No one came to see them for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, except someone passing who I asked could they help, they needed to urinate, they dropped down the side of the bed and I assisted my spouse.

By the time a doctor finally came to check my spouse, I was a bit agitated I asked what was happening. The doctor asked what my problem was. I replied that we just want to know what is happening. The doctor said my spouse was having obs during that time, however, no one had done any obs in the time I was with them.

The doctor then advised that blood had been taken and also an x-ray of their heart. The doctor said the blood was fine. I told the Doctor the x-ray had not been done. The doctor told me it had, however, following the doctor checking, they discovered it had not been done. My spouse then had a COVID-19 swab (many hours after they had arrived at the hospital) as they had presented with a fever.

We were advised that my spouse would be admitted and I went home exhausted. My spouse was left in that room for the night. I believe they were not even provided with a pillow for some comfort.

My spouse was transferred to the MAU the following day. The next day, they were transferred to ward L2 and was given IV Flucloxacillin for Cellulitis and Panadol for the high temperature.

The meals were served at odd times and no choice of menu. My spouse was given pasta three times which they described as not too good.

4 days later, I asked the pleasant young staff member delivering the meals why they don’t give menus out. We were told that there was not enough staff, so the hospital gave private patients a choice and the public patients then got what was left. The timing was also erratic, with meal-times varying by up to 90 minutes. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. In my opinion, it is obvious that there should not be one rule for public patients and another for private patients. I believe public patients at other public hospitals get menus and choice of a meal along with reasonably timely meal service.

On one morning, the cannula in my spouse's arm needed to be replaced. It was arranged for a doctor to insert a new one, the next drugs were due mid-day. The drugs were prepared and the dose had been doubled as per the doctor's instructions and hung ready for infusion. I heard the nurse at changeover say they are ready to go once the cannula is in.

The doctor put the cannula in about 2 hours later and nothing happened, I went to the nurses sitting outside and asked when my spouse would get their antibiotics. They said it would be when the new cannula is in. I told them it was in and they said they hadn’t been told. I then questioned who was responsible for advising them. They said to me there is no need to be rude, to which I replied I was just asking a question.

About 10 or 15 minutes later, the nurse then came in and took the prepared drugs down and put them in the bin. They said they couldn’t be sure if they were right, how much does a dose of 2gm of Flucloxacillin cost? My spouse eventually got they mid-day drugs three and a half hours late.

The following day my spouse was discharged and what I saw that day, in my opinion, was a very sad sight. After confusion about me having to sign my spouse out or just pick them up was settled, I parked the car in the car park so I could go and get them. I opened the door to the ward which has a very long corridor and saw my poor spouse limping with their very swollen right leg and foot down the passageway with their possessions in two plastic bags and things under their arms. I could have wept. I hurried to help them and asked if anyone had offered any assistance to help them or offered to provide a wheelchair. The answer was no, which by this stage should not have surprised me. My spouse said they were told there was a couch near the lifts and to walk down there.

I took them down in the lift and had to leave them standing alone while I then hurried to get the car. There was not even a seat they could sit in near the door. I am not sure why my spouse was not transferred to the discharge lounge where they could have waited for me, however, with the lack of care shown during the rest of their admission, I should not have been surprised.

What has happened to compassionate, patient-centred care at JHC? Maybe, in my opinion, it is the fact the Ramsay Healthcare Group are wringing every cent of profit they can from the contract so they skimp on care.  


Response from Paul Taylor-Byrne, Deputy Director of Clinical Services - Acute Care, Ramsay - Joondalup Health Campus 2 days ago
We are preparing to make a change
Paul Taylor-Byrne
Deputy Director of Clinical Services - Acute Care,
Ramsay - Joondalup Health Campus
Submitted on 14/01/2021 at 12:26
Published on Care Opinion at 13:39

picture of Paul Taylor-Byrne

Dear Olderperson85,

Thank you for contacting Care Opinion regarding the treatment your spouse received following their attendance at the Joondalup Health Campus (JHC) Emergency Department. I apologise that the experience did not meet with your expectations and for any distress this caused.

It appears, from reading of your experience that communication could have been better and I will pass your feedback to the staff on the ward so that they can reflect on this.

You mention that your spouse was not swabbed for COVID-19 until a number of hours in the ED. This issue was recently identified and we are implementing nurse led COVID-19 swabbing in the ED. This is in collaboration with ED staff, pathology and the Infection Prevention and Control team and roll out commences Monday 18 January 2021.

With regard to your comments about meal allocation for private patients and public patients. At JHC we have an electronic menu management system called Chefmax. We visit patients personally and take their meal orders so paper menus are not used. There may be occasions when an order is not obtained, such as when the patient is not present during the meal order visit. On these occasions, the meal choice is defaulted to the ‘Chef’s Choice’. This meal is individualized for each patient depending on clinical and allergen requirements.

JHC has a set routine order of meal service that meets the requirements of the regulatory authority and ward routines. Each ward receives their meals within 10-20 minutes either side of the estimated meal delivery times. It is very unusual to have such a wide discrepancy of 90 minutes. Unfortunately, without specific dates, we are unable to investigate this particular issue raised.

If you would like to contact us so that we can undertake a detailed investigation into the concerns you raise, please can you contact our consumer liaison office on 08 9400 9672 or email consumerliaison.jhc@ramsayhealth.com.au

Thank you again for taking the time to provide feedback about your recent experience.

Please accept my best wishes for your spouse’s speedy recovery.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Taylor-Byrne

Acting Director of Clinical Services

Joondalup Health Campus

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