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"Treatment of my deaf elderly parent"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Acute Medical Unit, Wards 5A &5B, AMAC (Acute Medical Ambulatory Centre)

(as a relative),

I’d have to say the way my parent gets treated every time they have an appointment, they never ever get an Auslan interpreter in for them to communicate with drs n nurses. Recently my parent had a phone consultation with a dr (my parent is deaf) they decided to go to the AMAC building in the morning for the appointment only to be told to go home. Meanwhile, my parent's breathing, they were struggling. While on their way home from Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) I get a phone call to tell my parent they have to return to the hospital but while telling me this, I felt they were asking me questions that a dr should already know considering my parent had been at FSH all week as an outpatient with 1 overnight stay.

So my elderly invalid parent is sent back to FSH only to sit in the emergency dept. for 2 hours I believe, then gets admitted as they were struggling with their breathing. Last time my parent was in the emergency dept they arrived late afternoon, it was four hours later that my parent, an elderly person, got a sandwich and a cup of tea as they were starving. In my opinion, there is no care factor at this hospital.

On the day of their recent presentation, all day I had phone call after phone call asking me questions. I believe they didn’t get an interpreter. They asked me if I could do Auslan but I’m not a professional, I don’t Auslan, only my parents and I don’t feel comfortable as a nonprofessional interpreter to talk DR and patient for legal reasons. Again my parent suffers the communication break down because I feel u all don’t talk to each other as professionals. I see u all engage in what I believe to be trivial conversations about yourself and your lives to the latest gossip spilling out of professionals but u can’t seem to talk to each other in regards to the medical condition of your patient, instead I get phone calls asking me about your patient.

When my parent steps through your doors they are your patient. I believe u need to be ready to have any communication interpreter on hand for if I, as a family member, interpreted for my parent and I misspelled or signed the wrong thing and then they die, then I would sue you for negligence and believe me I’m seriously thinking about just seeking legal advice because I believe:

1. there no care factor 

2. you never ever get an interpreter in for them so they have a better understanding of their condition 

3. your appointments are not explained properly, again break down of communication due to, I feel, unit being vigilant in one's needs. In my opinion, that comes under no care factor. Who cares? Right...

Another issue...I had an on-duty, I believe, Dr from AMAC talk to me and ask me questions, when I ask them if they knew my parent, they had never met them so I asked the DR why are they (a dr that hasn’t had anything to do with my parent) calling me. I want to talk to a dr that has seen my parent and all this (English very broken) they were speaking, in my opinion, poor English. All they kept saying that they were the dr on duty they couldn’t answer my question.

Why am I getting a call from a dr that hasn’t seen my parent? You know what they did, they hung up on me. In my opinion, I was not abusive, I was not swearing, I was frustrated and u could hear it in my voice but I felt this dr was avoiding answering me this question and this professional dr hung upon me. If they had not organised Silver Chain coz I believe they are spite I’m going to be calling a lawyer and seeking legal advice for this.

My parent needs a daily injection so far they have missed out on 2. If Silver Chain don’t come, I will seek legal advice for my parent. They have DVT and I feel it’s the arrogance of these international professionals just don’t care about the elderly Australian coz I think it’s what it is. In my opinion, my parent is a beautiful person who doesn’t deserve this bad treatment and bad communication at all. Having a dr hang up on you is in my opinion, unprofessional. I wasn’t swearing, I wasn’t yelling I asked them questions I felt they couldn’t answer me.

That dr on duty, I think you are a very rude disrespectful human being. I’m not your friend or family member for u to hang up on. If u have not organised this Silver Chain I will lodge an official complaint against you. In my opinion, your arrogance as a professional is at an all-time low scale out of 10 you are a 2.

If my parent dies because of your arrogance, if u do not organise Silver Chain like obviously u were asked to do, I will be seeking legal advice. FSH, if I could send my parent to another hospital I would. There is a different hospital my parent has always liked, I might ask for a referral for another hospital.


Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service 3 days ago
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 23/02/2021 at 16:59
Published on Care Opinion at 17:00

picture of Neil Doverty

Dear airpm36,

Thanks for reaching out to us via Care Opinion with your concerns. I understand that you have also been in contact with our Patient and Family Liaison Service (PFLS), who have apologised for any lack of service from medical staff and the miscommunication from the medical team in AMAC. I echo that apology.

Auslan interpreters can be difficult to arrange at times, however when possible if an Auslan interpreter is not available the patient’s appointment will be re-scheduled. In your parent’s case, this may not have been in the best interest for them from a medical point of view, and we do apologise for the inconvenience caused.

I understand that on 17 February PFLS emailed you back and requested you provide your postal address so that they can send the consent form to you. As soon as we have received consent PFLS will work with you to work through the issues you have raised.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

Group Executive Director

Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group

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