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"Lack of service"

About: Albany Health Campus Fiona Stanley Hospital / Neurology Department, Neurophysiology Outpatients & Ward 6B

(as the patient),

1. I saw the visiting neurologist at Albany Health Campus in March 2021. They said I needed a particular test, in Perth and I would be notified when that was to happen. He made an appointment to see me again at Albany in early June.

2. By April, I had not been notified, so I rang the Albany Health Campus, Ambulatory Zone 2. The machine said my call was important to them, so I left the details of my query.

3. A few days later, nobody had rung me back, so I took time off work to go in there. The receptionist said it was the neurologist's job to arrange the test and notify me, but that they would ring the next day to find out what was happening and then let me know.

4. After more than a week I realised the receptionist was not going to ring back, so I rang the Neurology Dept at Fiona Stanley to find out for myself. Albany never did ring me back.

5. But wait there's more... when the neurologist got back to FS they emailed the technician to arrange the SSEP test then went on leave. 

6. When they returned from leave they found an email from the technician saying the machine that does the SSEP test was broken. So consequently I received no notification to have the test.

7. I saw them again recently (the appointment was changed from early June) they said they would arrange for me to have the test at the only other place that does it, Charles Gairdner. I hoped that this could be done soon to make up for the two months wasted.

8. I received a letter saying my next appointment with them at Albany is in three months. I believe this is not good enough. You would think they would move heaven and earth to get this test organised and give me the results as soon as possible to make up for their, I feel, horrendous service. But no. Meanwhile I am getting closer and closer to being in a wheelchair, and they want me to wait three and a half months to get the results.

Responses

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service last month
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 18/06/2021 at 14:58
Published on Care Opinion at 14:59


picture of Neil Doverty

Dear pepperzt36,

I am sorry to read of your frustrating experience.

I have looked into this matter for you and can confirm that the piece of equipment used for a Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP) test has been out of order since February 2021. While discussions are ongoing with the contractor regarding replacing this equipment, referrals for SSEPs are being forwarded to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. I am sorry that your Neurologist was not aware of this and as such did not communicate this to you.

Generally, the SSEP test is not clinically urgent, hence there was not an automatic decision to refer on out of catchment in your Neurologist’s absence, nor discussion with the covering Consultant Neurologist. I do apologise that the communication around the importance of the test and timeline was not appropriately communicated to you. The Neurology team has been made aware of your Care Opinion post.

If you would like more specific information about your case, as Care Opinion is anonymous, we do ask that you contact our Patient and Family Liaison Service on 6152 4013, and they can make enquiries on your behalf.

I wish you all the best with your future care and treatment.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

Group Executive Director

Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group.

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Response from Juan Clark, Operations Manager, Operations, Albany Health Campus, WACHS Great Southern last month
Juan Clark
Operations Manager, Operations,
Albany Health Campus, WACHS Great Southern
Submitted on 18/06/2021 at 16:56
Published on Care Opinion on 21/06/2021 at 09:10


Dear pepperzt36,

Thank you for sharing your story on Care Opinion. It is very disappointing to hear of your experience of the Albany Health Campus with the visiting neurology service and I am really sorry that we missed opportunities to make sure that you were able to access the services and appointments you needed in a timely way.

In particular, I am concerned about you leaving phone messages and your calls not being returned, resulting in you needing to take time off work in order to speak to our receptionist. I can only imagine how frustrating and worrying this must have been during this time of uncertainty and I am very sorry that we added to your already stressful situation. Please accept my apologies.

In order to get a clearer picture of what has occurred and to improve the way we communicate with and support our patients who are receiving services from visiting medical practitioners, I would really appreciate it if you could call me on 0427 430 803 or email Juan.Clark@health.wa.gov.au. I want all of our patients to have a seamless health care experience, and to feel supported with comprehensive information about their treatment plans, and I would welcome your call to allow us to make improvements in this area. I would also like to support you to access and understand your future treatment and care.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Juan Clark

Albany Health Campus

Operations Manager

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