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"Emergency services and care for my deceased spouse"

About: Midwest Health Northampton Hospital / Emergency Department St John Ambulance WA

(as a relative),

My husband was involved in a motorcycle accident in Regional WA. Ambulance was called and GPS location provided. Ambulance arrived at site and treated my husband who was conscious and able to give the paramedic information about his situation.

My husband was placed in the Ambulance and those in attendance were told that he would be conveyed to the Geraldton Regional Hospital. Contact was made with myself and the accident explained and that could I meet my husband at the Geraldton Regional Hospital. I attended the emergency department at the hospital at 12noon and waited for the ambulance.

An hour and a half later no ambulance arrived and contact was then made with the Northampton Hospital and I received details that my husband was deceased while sitting in the grounds of the Geraldton Regional Hospital and my husband was at the Northampton Hospital. The delivery of the details by a hospital staff member who did not have a good grasp of English or compassion was, I felt, cold and unacceptable. My adult child picked me up from the Geraldton Regional Hospital and we contacted the Northampton Hospital to say that we were on our way to Northampton and was my husband still going to be at the hospital in 30 to 40 minutes. The answer was yes.

We passed an ambulance half way to Northampton and when we arrived we were meet by Police and 2 nurses. The Police were outstanding in their manner and supportive and provided details of what was required from myself. I was grateful for their involvement. I felt information of what happened to my husband was scarce except the details of the ambulance arriving and that staff were unable to have resuscitation equipment ready to receive my husband.

He was pronounced deceased by the means of video link as there is no Doctor present at the Northampton Hospital. It was devastating news made worst by not being able to have a discussion with emergency staff to have an understanding of what had gone horribly wrong. I felt the 2 nurses present were not helpful and 1 nurse could not be understood.  

We were told that there had been a shift change and the staff that were present when my husband was brought in were no longer on duty. What communication is there between ambulance and hospital and why did the ambulance go to Northampton Hospital when it seemed there is no Doctor or an emergency department available at the Hospital. Weeks have passed since my husband's death and this particular matter brings great grief to the family still, as there has been no explanation received and we cannot understand how it took the Family over 2 hours to locate our loved one at a location that I believe could not assist in support for life.

Responses

Response from Karen Street, A/Regional Director, WACHS Midwest 2 months ago
Karen Street
A/Regional Director,
WACHS Midwest
Submitted on 18/08/2021 at 11:45
Published on Care Opinion at 11:46


picture of Karen Street

Dear stonefz33,

Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your husband as a result of a motorcycle accident. I can only imagine the grief that you and your family must be experiencing.

I am deeply sorry for your experience at Northampton Hospital and the distress this has caused you and your family. The care and communication you describe is not reflective of our values of compassion and quality, and I can see that we haven’t met your needs so that you were able to feel informed and supported when receiving such devastating news.

If you are happy to, I would really like the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your concerns and provide the support we should have provided at the time. If this is something you would like you can contact me on 9956 2210 or email me at: Karen.Street@health.wa.gov.au.

Thank you for reaching out and taking the time to share your story at this very sad and difficult time. I do hope that we hear from you.

Kind Regards

Karen Street

A/Regional Director

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Response from Di Franklin, A/Operations Manager, Midwest Murchison, WA Country Health Service Midwest yesterday
Di Franklin
A/Operations Manager, Midwest Murchison,
WA Country Health Service Midwest
Submitted on 26/10/2021 at 16:45
Published on Care Opinion at 17:02


picture of Di Franklin

Dear stonefz33,

I am very grateful to have met with you and heard firsthand your experience of the events surrounding your husband’s passing. I wish to thank you for the opportunity you provided us to reflect on our practices and make improvement as we strive for compassionate respectful care in all situations.

We are committed to supporting our staff and our emergency care partners in being able to communicate and support relatives and carers in fast changing events such as we faced following your husband’s motorcycle accident. I admire and appreciate your focus on improving care for the whole community at such a tragic and difficult time for you and your family.

On behalf of WA Country Health Service and our health care partners in the community thank you again for your strength in sharing your story for the greater good of your community.

Warm regards,

Di Franklin

A/Operations Manager Midwest Murchison

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