"Stranded in Geraldton"

About: Geraldton Hospital

(as the patient),

Living in Dongara and we have a couple of problems with the health services.

The first is that we don't have a Locum - so we have had 4 days without a GP. We have 3700 people here and we need a locum. Also there is a problem with the video link to Perth. If you go to Emergency, they will contact emergency video link to Perth, and the Perth mob will say they can't see what you have, because they can't see the information on the machine, because the machine faces the patient. So then they say you have to go to Geraldton. Which causes the second problem.

The second problem is a fairly big one. If you get taken to Geraldton via ambulance, then when you are discharged from the hospital, you're virtually stranded in Geraldton. You can't get home. So if you're discharged say at 10 or 11pm there is no way of getting home. The only option you have to get home, is if you can get someone to travel the 74kms both ways to come up and get you. There needs to be a way of getting the patient home, once they've been taken to Geraldton.

Anything you can do to help with these problems would be appreciated.

Responses

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

picture of Michele Young

Dear Stranded

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns on Patient Opinion. I would like to assure you that we value all the feedback that we receive as it helps us to identify areas for improvement. The GP service you refer to is a private provider and locum cover is the responsibility of the practice, you would be best contacting the practice to discuss your concerns around the provision of a locum GP.

I am sorry that you experienced a problem with the video link to Perth. The video link is a service called the Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS). The ETS uses videoconferencing equipment to connect local clinical staff with emergency medicine specialists based in Perth who provide guidance to the local treating team. A consultation with an ETS doctor is just like any other ‘in person’ consultation and allows us to provide high quality specialist care close to home. On occasions when treatment requires a higher level of expertise it is appropriate for the patient to be transferred to a facility providing a higher level of clinical care.

I understand and acknowledge your concerns around the availability of transport back to Dongara when discharged from the Geraldton Hospital. Unfortunately due to the geographical nature and lack of public transport links between Geraldton and Dongara patients usually rely on friends and family to transport them home or they may access hotel accommodation.

We are unable to investigate the specific matter relating to the ETS without additional details, so we would be grateful if you could contact us directly to discuss the issues you have raised. My contact details are michele.young@health.wa.gov.au or 9956 8695 or alternately you can contact the Midwest Operations Manager, Andrew Klein Andrew.Klein@health.wa.gov.au or 9956 2268.

Thank you again for taking the time to write and we look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Michele

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