"Referral process"

About: Karratha Health Campus / Outpatients & Day Treatment

(as a parent/guardian),

As a parent attending the Paed Doctor at the Outpatients clinic, I'm extremely saddened as well as emotionally stressed. My child has been a patient of a particular doctor since a newborn due to a few health issues, however, the most recent appointment my child needed genetic testing after our appointment a few months ago and been told something had shown up and that the visiting genetics team would need to meet and discuss it with me.

The doctor said they would send the referral through and pop urgent on it so we would be seen when they did their visit in 2 weeks time. I hadn't received any appointment so I rang the Paeds secretary who said they would get back to me.  

2 days later I rang again and I got the same response, then I emailed the doctor and a few days later they said they spoke to the genetics doctor and that they were aware of my child and would be in contact.

I visited the CHN who I expressed my concerns to, then in November, as this had been going on a while, they said they would try to follow up. I also expressed my concerns to the allied health team who have also followed up by emails.

Numerous phone calls to the secretary and emails I received an email from the doctor saying they would get back to me the next day... well, I still haven't heard anything over 3 months later from the day the referral should have been sent through!

I have rung central referrals and there has been no referral sent. I'm extremely disappointed that nothing has happened and we still don't know what is wrong with my child. I spoke to the Outpatients manager and they have arranged an appointment with another Paed for a simple referral that should have been done 3 months ago... 3 months we have lost out on a diagnosis or early intervention for my child! 

The doctor is a truly amazing doctor, however, I believe the workload they have is completely drowning them, in my opinion, the health department needs to do something to make this doctor's work load lighter. 


Response from Lisa Smith, A/Operations Manager, West & Inland Pilbara, WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara 3 days ago
We are preparing to make a change
Lisa Smith
A/Operations Manager, West & Inland Pilbara,
WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara
Submitted on 13/01/2021 at 13:35
Published on Care Opinion at 13:36

Dear firemf85,

Thank you for your recent feedback on Care Opinion regarding your experience with the Paediatric Outpatient Service at Karratha Health Campus (KHC).

I am sorry to hear that your experience has left you saddened and emotionally stressed, and I sincerely apologise if we have caused you additional worry and concern at what must be an already stressful time for you.

I have followed up with our Outpatients Clerical Manager and Senior Medical Officer to determine why there may have been so many missed opportunities to ensure that the required appointments were made for your child.

As a result of your feedback, we have undertaken a review of clerical practices relating to the administration of paediatric referrals and appointments and can see where we can make improvements to our processes so that your experience is not repeated. We will be implementing these improvements shortly, along with addressing the challenge of covering the Paediatric Medical Secretary role, which I would also suggest is a further contributing factor in the confusion around referrals and lack of appointments that you have regrettably experienced.

I am pleased to advise that we are currently in the process of reviewing the demand and availability of outpatient paediatric services at KHC to ensure we are able to both meet the needs of our community and balance the workload of our busy Community Paediatrician.

So I can better understand your needs and support you in ensuring that your child’s care is arranged in a timely manner, please do not hesitate to contact me. My name is Lisa Smith and I am the West Pilbara Operations Manager. At a time that is convenient for you, please call me on 08 9144 7639.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience with us and I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Smith

Operations Manager

West Pilbara

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