"Witnessing the care of a terminally ill patient."

About: Geraldton Hospital

(as a relative),

Whilst with a patient at the Geraldton Regional Hospital, we witnessed the below story.  We were very happy with the treatment we received during the stay, but were concerned with what we witnessed.

There was an incident in the ward regarding the care of a terminally ill patient by a particular nurse. We believe the nurse may need counselling around the care of patients.

While the nurse was attending to the terminally ill patient, it seemed to us that the patient didn't want to eat the food the nurse was grinding up for them. The way the nurse treated the patient seemed to be very unkind.

This nurse was also our attending nurse and seemed busy, so rather than worry her with a request, I asked another nurse.  This seemed to upset our attending nurse, who I felt  growled at me telling me the other nurse had her own patients to look after. I did check this with the other nurse who was fine about it and told me it wasn't a problem.

The terminally ill patient was visited by a friend. During this visit the friend spoke to the nurse about the manner in which the nurse fed the patient.

While the nurse was out of the room the patient attempted to get out of the bed, but as they attempted to do so they fell on the nearby chair. When the nurse came into the room, the patient had died.

Later the nurse was attending to another patient in the room and we believe we heard the patient say to the nurse - What, do you want me to die too?

The nurse may have been having a bad day or have some things going on in her private life, but we think she may need some counselling.

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear care of a patient

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. May I start by saying I was pleased to hear that you were happy with the treatment and care you received at the Geraldton Hospital, the staff will appreciate your feedback and I will take great pleasure in passing this on to the team.

I am concerned to read about what you witnessed and the care that you describe in relation to another patient. WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Midwest prides itself on providing safe, high quality patient centred care and the concerns you have outlined are unacceptable and not reflective of our service standards that we strive for.

I have discussed your story with Jeff Calver, Acting Operations Manager, Geraldton Hospital and he would like the opportunity to discuss the concerns you have raised and would appreciate if you could contact him on 9956 2369 or alternatively you can contact me on 9956 8695 or email michele.young@health.wa.gov.au. Your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish.

I am sorry that you have experienced our service in this way. Please be reassured that we take your feedback seriously and are committed to improving the experience of all health service users.

Again thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about our service and I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

Michele

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Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear care of a patient

Thank you for your call today I appreciate you taking the time to discuss your concerns with me in more detail. The information you have provided will allow us an opportunity to undertake a review through the complaints management process. This process assists us in building effective partnerships with our health service users, carers and the community to allow for continuous improvement of our services.

Thanks again for sharing your experience with us and someone from our team will be in touch shortly.

Kind regards

Michele

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