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"Lack of communication throughout the hospital"

About: Karratha Health Campus / Outpatients & Day Treatment

(as a parent/guardian),

My baby was diagnosed with Hips dysplasia at 8wks. The visiting Paed wanted to refer us to Perth but I asked to have the follow up ultrasound done in karratha where we were. At 11wks we had another ultrasound and same diagnosis. The next paed appointment was with a different Dr and they too wanted to send us to Perth. I was advised to wait for the Perth hospital to contact me. 

I was under the impression that we had an orthopaedic Dr that visits our hospital. So why wasn’t I being referred to them or to the physio at the hospital who, I believe, can fit the harness. 

At 16wks I went to my local gp who was, I believe, shocked by the run around and referred me to the visiting orthopaedic Dr. Over the phone the Dr looked at my baby's ultrasound and said they needed to be in a harness ASAP and referred me to the physio at the hospital who a few days later fitted my baby with a harness. 

Hips dysplasia are in my family, I knew what needed to be done but I believe the lack of communication to the visiting Paed delayed our treatment. 

I felt, the permanent Paed that we had knew the system and, I believe, would have fitted my baby at 8wks. But now we have a random Dr that, I feel, does not know what the hospital has to offer. 

To make matters, I feel, more ridiculous, I received a message at the time of writing this story from a hospital in Perth saying that we had an appointment that day for an ultrasound. An appointment I could not make as we are about a 16hrs drive away. There was no notice given. Imagine if I wasn’t proactive in getting this sorted then received that message. 

I understand hips dysplasia is very common and for people living in the Pilbara going to Perth for treatment that can be treated here is, I believe, absolutely absurd. 

I felt the physio was amazing in giving me the right advice and who to contact to get the ball rolling. 

Thank you.

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Response from Lisa Smith, Operations Manager, West Pilbara, WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara 13 months ago
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Lisa Smith
Operations Manager, West Pilbara,
WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara
Submitted on 18/06/2021 at 2:29 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 2:30 PM

Dear melonep63,

Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding lack of communication around the referral of your child for follow up Ultrasound and Orthopaedic management of their Hip Dysplasia.

I would like to apologise that the process of referring your child for an ultrasound and an orthopaedic appointment was so confusing and poorly managed. This is not the patient experience that we aim to provide for patients and their families at Karratha Health Campus. I have followed up on your feedback with our Senior Medical Officer to gain more insight into how this may have occurred.

Our review identified gaps in our service with the visiting roster of Paediatric specialists and we have now addressed this by ensuring a stable locum Paediatric workforce, and have commenced a process for permanent recruitment. There are instances where the visiting Orthopaedic specialist does not provide services to Paediatric patients. We are currently working on a process of reform to address this. Our Senior Medical Officer has undertaken to discuss your feedback with the Paediatricians to ensure that they are informed of all specialists available in Karratha.

Thank you for sharing the positive feedback about the physiotherapist, I will pass this on to the Physio team.

I am sorry that the appointment time from the hospital in Perth was so last minute. If you would like me to follow up on this late notification I would be happy to do so, on your behalf.

If you would like to discuss your experience any further or receive feedback on our investigations as outlined above, I invite you to contact me. My name is Lisa Smith and I am the Operations Manager West & Inland Pilbara. You can contact me on 08 9144 7639, or my email is

Kind regards,

Lisa Smith

Operations Manager West & Inland Pilbara

WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara

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

Update posted by melonep63 (a parent/guardian)

Thank you Lisa for following this up. I appreciate your help in making this process more seamless.

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