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"Communication"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department Bunbury Hospital / Intensive Care Unit Bunbury Hospital / Medical Ward Bunbury Hospital / Surgical Ward

(as a relative),

My spouse attended Bunbury Regional Hospital through ED and then ICU, Medical, Surgery and Home Links.

Firstly, I believe the 3-8 visiting hours do not allow contact with the Drs and I feel patients are not always capable of remembering the information conveyed to them by the Dr.

After ED admittance, all staff who I dealt with were super professional and highly diligent in all their treatment of my spouse. The ED admittance has already been noted in this website.

My spouse was transferred to surgical as the bed was needed in medical. It seemed to me the person in the other bed in surgical was highly dependent on staff for movement. I recall they had 2 commodes and a shower chair in the shared bathroom making it a tight squeeze in this area and an oversized chair and walking frame in their room area, which was closest to the bathroom door. Added to this I recall they were assisted by staff in spreading talcum powder in large amounts on their commodes and shower chair as I believe otherwise their skin stuck to the chair. This was a high falls risk to my spouse who was on furosemide. My spouse was given earplugs as this patient made loud noises constantly while sleeping or dozing. I recall they frequently spilt their urine vessels on the ground and disposed of his dirty nappies in the bathroom bin. My spouse was admitted with Sepsis and therefore I believe was very susceptible to infections.

It seemed to me partly due to the room situation, the Dr discharged my spouse with Home Links attending for follow up antibiotics through a PICC line.

Home Links came to the room and explained the situation and what would follow. At this time Home Links tried to explain to a Dr that they needed a prescription form. I recall the Dr insisted that the paperwork was all that was necessary but finally agreed to write a prescription. Another Dr returned with the prescription and handed it to us telling us to fill it at any pharmacy in town and to keep it in the fridge. I believe they also stated that it was for a week. I recall the ward Dr had always said antibiotics would be for a minimum of 2 weeks but most likely 4 weeks and they would speak to infectious diseases at another hospital to confirm.

On speaking to Home Links after discharge, they requested our attendance at the Discharge lounge for 2 days as the required antibiotics had never been given to my spouse, who has an allergy.

Home Links staff were extremely efficient and helpful and informed us they would make all arrangements with our local ED for our transfer to them once all tests were completed. The ED Dr had examined records and spoken to us and stated they would prefer 4 weeks of antibiotics, so this was chartered. All tests were completed and arrangements were made for us to drive home at the end of the week.

After a telephone call from the ED Dr with test results, I felt they quite rudely told me, my spouse would not be released and transferred to our local ED unless I gave them a Dr’s name. I rang our local ED with great difficulty as they do not normally put patients through to ED. I spoke to the Nurse Manager who explained the situation to me and asked me to convey their email address and my own GP’s fax number to Home Links. I sent the necessary details in an email to Home Links and handed the same personally to the attending Home Links Nurse. We attended the discharge room for a final Bunbury Home Link antibiotics a couple days later.

The ward doctor rang to follow up my spouse's progress and we informed them that the ED Dr had arranged a Gallium scan as they couldn’t get an appointment for a Toe and TTE. I believe the ward doctor was unaware of this.

On attending our local ED on the following day, I believe no paperwork had been received by either ED or our local GP. It seemed to me ED staff tried to get hold of any Home Links staff but could not. I personally rang the number I had and I recall the Home Links staff member said, when they got back to the office they would try to send something through. I gave them the ED and our local GP’s fax numbers.

Fortunately as we had a copy of the discharge paperwork from the hospital and as our child is an ED staff member, the attending Dr chartered a week of the antibiotics even though the discharge said a week, which my spouse had already had in Bunbury.

Many phone calls were made and emails by the nurse manager and although the Picc information was received, the chartering paperwork for the antibiotics didn’t arrive until the following week. This only happened after I gave the ward Dr’s name to the ED Nurse Manager. This Dr answered their email when they weren’t even at work and spoke personally to my spouse. I recall they stated that infectious diseases at another hospital had recommended a 6-week course of antibiotics. This Dr arranged a teleconference after completing the antibiotics to follow up and maybe order more tests.

I believe this Dr also stated they did not follow up as they thought the ED Doctor would as they had taken over my spouse’s care. I recall this Dr also stated that all information was available on the website. Bunbury hospital uses this website, which is used by Perth hospitals. As I understand it, all other WACHS use their website and do not have access to the one used by Bunbury. My spouse was unaware of this.

Once again, my spouse’s actual treatment could not be faulted but the communication and paperwork procedures definitely require a lot of attention in my opinion. Placement of shared patients also seems to require some attention, as I feel my spouse’s health was placed at risk by their shared companion. I feel this person was a high dependency patient and required nursing attention constantly which would have impacted on whoever they shared with.

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Responses

Response from Jeffrey Calver, Director, Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West 3 months ago
Jeffrey Calver
Director, Bunbury Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 4/02/2022 at 1:40 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 2:26 PM


Dear Starling49,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story on Care Opinion.

It certainly seems that your spouse has had quite the journey through our hospital systems with both highs and lows. And whilst I am very pleased to hear that your spouse’s actual treatment was great, I agree with you that there does seem to be unnecessary issues and complications with the paperwork and communication between teams.

It would certainly be valuable if you or your spouse would contact our Customer Liaison Officer on 08 9722 1521, I would very much like to hear more so that I can identify where we can improve.

Thank you once again for sharing and I hope that your spouse is now well on the path to recovery.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,

Jeff Calver

Director of Bunbury Hospital

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Update posted by Starling49 (a relative)

The response from Jeff Calver and his request for us to speak to the Customer Liaison Officer further proves my original comment on communications. Although we both rang and left a message with this Customer Liaison Officer, we have not received a return call after 3 working days.

Further, we were scheduled a conference call from the doctor. This as usual has not happened.

Response from Jeffrey Calver, Director, Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West 3 months ago
Jeffrey Calver
Director, Bunbury Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 9/02/2022 at 6:12 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 6:15 PM


Dear Starling49,

I have been advised that you have successfully been in contact with our Customer Liaison Officer now and a review into the issues you have raised is underway.

Thank you for persisting in contacting us, we look forward to working with you to learn how we can improve our service.

Kind Regards,

Jeff Calver

Director of Bunbury Hospital

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