"Background research not done"

About: Geraldton Hospital St John of God Geraldton Hospital

(as a relative),

My terminally ill parent was recently taken to ED late one evening and then transferred to the ward into a private room where they were nursed until a palliative bed could be arranged the following morning. 

Later that night, after Palliative Care arranged the transfer and my parent was moved across to the St John of God (SJOG) Unit. My parent sadly passed away. 

Condolence cards were received by my family from the Geraldton Hospital Palliative Care team on two occasions. My parent was known to Palliative Care prior to this admission and had used their services.
Care of my parent by the ED, Ward and the Palliative Unit at SJOG was as great as it could be given the situation over those two days; however this fell down soon after.
Now we have received a call from a Geraldton Hospital Palliative Care Nurse asking how my parent was going and if they would like a visit from the nurse. 
As you can imagine, this is not the sort of call one would expect from the staff that had:
1) Visited my parent on the ward when they were in an unresponsive state. 
2) Arranged for the bed at the Palliative Unit. 
3) Sent multiple condolence cards to my family after my parent passed away.
Surely this information and the fact my parent had passed, should have been documented in my parent's notes so that calls of this nature asking how they were going didn't occur.
As you can imagine, this call was quite distressing to my family and has left us feeling like my parent was just a number, and not a person, to the Geraldton Hospital Palliative Care Service.

Please don't let this happen to another family - family members do not need to be reminded from an inappropriate and upsetting phone call, that their father/mother/brother/sister, etc. is no longer with them.

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest We are preparing to make a change

picture of Michele Young

Dear Coffee Cup

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. I was saddened to read your story and so very sorry to hear of your parent's passing. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for the distress that this has caused you and your family. I have spoken to the team who are devastated that this has occurred and would really like an opportunity to look into this to ensure that this does not happen again to you or another family. To ensure that your family does not receive any further notifications we require some further details from you and we would appreciate if you could contact Sue Hogan, Coordinator Surgical and Ambulatory Care Services on 08 9956 2329 or Susan.Hogan@health.wa.gov.au or alternatively you can contact me on 9956 8695 or michele.young@health.wa.gov.au Your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish.

I was pleased to hear the positive comments about the care your parent received from the teams at the Geraldton Hospital Emergency Department, ward and the Palliative Care Unit at St John of God Hospital and I will take great pleasure in passing this on to the staff as I know they will really appreciate it.

Again I am sorry that you have experienced our service in this way. Please be reassured that we take your feedback seriously and we are committed to improving our service.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warmest regards

Michele

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

picture of Michele Young

Dear Coffee Cup

Just thought I'd drop you a line as we hadn’t heard from you. So that we can improve our service we would like an opportunity to investigate your concerns to ensure that what you have outlined does not happen again. We would appreciate if you could contact Sue Hogan, Coordinator Surgical and Ambulatory Care Services on 9956 2329 or Susan.Hogan@health.wa.gov.au or alternatively you can contact me on 9956 8695 or michele.young@health.wa.gov.au at your convenience.

Your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes

Michele

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