About: Royal North Shore Hospital Royal North Shore Hospital St Leonards 2065
Our elderly grandparent collapsed at home recently and was transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital. They spent the next 24 hours in emergency where initial UTI prognosis was changed to influenza A and our grandparent was subsequently moved to one ward and then to another. In isolation. Because the family had previously taken steps regarding aged care assessment and placement, social services staff and nurses had most of the next steps already in place.
A few days later we were told our grandparent would likely be moved to our nominated nursing home sometime in the following two days. This is while our grandparent was still in isolation, with all in their company, gloved and masked up. Naturally we expressed concern as to the wellbeing and obvious vulnerability of our grandparent, not only from the major transition in their life to a nursing home but because our grandparent was still on Tamiflu and still quite obviously contagious.
Our grandparent was transferred as indicated, despite family still expressing concerns. Our family were all there to make the process smooth and we received a call from the nursing home, restricting visitation due to concerns of an influenza A outbreak. The poor unsuspecting residents in close proximity to our grandparent are now all on Tamiflu as well at their cost and it is us, the family, that feel somehow negligent in this process.
The nursing home has revealed that the clinical discharge notes are vague, as if it may have been a deliberate act to downplay the diagnosis and therefore risk.
Net result is that a beautiful, previously healthy elderly person who has virtually no history of medical treatment/impost on the system has been kicked to the kerb because fortuitous arrangements meant the hospital could get their bed back. We feel that at first, do no harm appears to hold true, until you can pass the duty on to someone else while downplaying the risk. Where the elderly are particularly susceptible, we feel that the conduct of Royal North Shore Hospital needs a damn good please explain, and they should join us in praying that no one falls seriously ill on account of what we feel was their dereliction of duty.
Responses to this story
Response from Patient Opinion, Patient Opinion Australia last week
This response is posted by Patient Opinion on behalf of Th Royal North Shore Hospital:
Thank you for taking the time to share your story. We apologise for your family’s experience following your grandparent’s discharge.
The Hospital would like to investigate the concerns you have raised. Our Patient and Family Experience Unit investigates all feedback from patients and we encourage you to make contact with us. The Team can be reached on 02 9463 1600 or NSLHD-NSRHSPatientRepresentative@health.nsw.gov.au.
Your feedback is much appreciated as it provides us with the opportunity to improve our service.