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"My 14 months in Hospital"

About: Bunbury Hospital Busselton Health Campus Collie Hospital

(as the patient),

Last year, I had my first seizure and fell unconscious for around 30 minutes and when I came around, I was totally paralysed.

I was unable to move any part of my body and not even open my eyes. This lasted around 4 hours before I could open them and see again.

Unknown to me at this stage, that it would take the next year or so to get my movement back throughout my body.

I thank all the wonderful nurses, doctors and allied heath team involved in my care, along with the catering team and cleaners for all their work in their fields but also the support on my tough days through my journey.

The things I would like to see is the State heath system is to make it standard that stickers are used on all patient menus and kitchen prep sheets to indicate food allergies and/or food requirements like vegan.

I believe this will stop just written required/requests on menus being missed.

Also, I think to put the minds of coeliac patients at rest, please ensure that all kitchens have separate toasters etc along with some training on safe food handling to stop cross contamination between gluten products.

In my opinion, the tap water that is given out in most hospitals is a horrible taste and smell. Can all hospitals start using filtered water for everyone?

The new toilets that have been refitted out in Collie hospital I feel are 90% better than what was, but still have faults. Can the health department please listen to the nurses on what needs fixing, like things that seem to me as simple as magnetic door holders etc.?

I believe the Busselton Hospital has fantastic gardens both out the front and it has a great indoor/outdoor room on the ward so if you are still not well enough to go out the front of the hospital you can get fresh air and sun while still safe on the ward under the supervision of the nurses. But based on my experience, there is not a lot of gardens at Collie with bright coloured plants or flowers and if you want fresh air or sun you have to go off the ward all the way out to the front door. This is a long hallway and it seemed to me you can only do this if you are well enough or supervised by a nurse or AIN. It would be great if a level accessible secure garden with chairs/gardens/grass and shade zone could be made next to the ward.

I believe the added benefit of this zone is the hospital OT's could hold garden groups as therapy especially for the long term patients. 

Can the Collie hospital please look at setting up the activity room as a lunch room so all the patients who are well enough can eat and chat together?

Last, can the State Government please fund and place enough nurses and AINs onto the South West hospitals to ensure that, as I understand it, nurses are not being forced to do a double shift when one or more nurses call in sick (especially an afternoon and then a night shift back to back)? As great as I feel the nurses are, I believe 18 hour shifts are not good for anyone.

Once again, thanks to all the teams that looked after me on this long stay at Bunbury regional hospital, Busselton regional hospital and Collie Hospital.

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Response from Barry Moroney, District Manager, Harvey Hospital, WACHS South West last month
We are preparing to make a change
Barry Moroney
District Manager, Harvey Hospital,
WACHS South West

Manage Collie, Donnybrook, and Harvey Hospitals

Submitted on 2/12/2021 at 4:21 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 9/12/2021 at 12:09 PM

Dear firezt56,

Thankyou for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your health journey over the last 14 months and for your suggestions for improvement. I can only imagine the worry that you experienced when paralysed and unwell and I sincerely hope that you are now on the mend.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that our hospitals are staffed with “wonderful nurses, doctors and allied heath team, along with the catering team and cleaners”. WACHS South West and Collie Hospital is lucky to have such dedicated staff and volunteers.

Your feedback about patients’ dietary needs is very important. The Southwest hospitals manage patients diets utilising Health Department Allergy and Diet App (ADA) which is completed by the nursing staff in conjunction with the patient, considering dietary requirements. The information then being sent electronically to the kitchen to prepare the meals based on the individual patient’s needs. Given your feedback we will be looking at the education and system with our multidisciplinary nutrition team to prevent any possible gaps like the ones you have mentioned. Regarding your experience with the water I would also like to reassure you that the water is safe to consume and each hospital is required to undertake regular water testing. Where patients do have concerns regarding the taste of the water, we are committed to working with patients and considering options regarding their individual needs.

You have also provided some very important feedback regarding the new bathrooms at Collie Hospital. The patient bathrooms have recently been upgraded, replacing the 1960’s design with more modern and spacious bathrooms that meet contemporary standards including for disability access. As with all renovation’s, defects are identified and rectified as soon as possible. Our Nursing staff have been the key in identifying issues, and we have recently inspected the bathrooms with one of the ward nurses and our maintenance officer so we can address these small but important issues quickly.

In relation to improvements occurring, the Collie Hospital is currently undergoing a $12.2 million redevelopment, including a new Allied Health area (recently completed), replacement of the Hospital roof and the redevelopment of the Operating Theatre. We are looking at other opportunities to improve the environment and have taken on board your suggestions on how to improve the garden and activities areas to enhance the therapeutic environment for our patients and the workplace for staff. Thank you sincerely for these suggestions.

Our nurses do a great job, and like all sectors they are impacted by a reduced available workforce due to the Covid pandemic. Please be assured that this is not a funding issue and that Collie is actively recruiting staff across all areas with the Assistant in Nursing (AIN) being a priority area. We are actively sponsoring the training of several staff to become AIN and see this as important to having the right model of care for patient needs and growing our local health workforce.

Thank you again for your lovely feedback, which is really appreciated. I will share it with the teams at Bunbury and Busselton Hospitals and am sure your kind words will make the day of our frontline staff. If you do wish to discuss your suggestions further, I am happy for you to contact me directly on 0429 323 174. My name is Barry.

Best wishes,

Barry Moroney

District Manager – Collie Hospital

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