"Still waiting for a diagnosis."

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I've been dealing with the hospital emergency department several times over the past 6 - 8 weeks regarding an extremely sore arm with limited movement in it. Each time I've been seen it appears the staff are unable to make a clear diagnosis. They performed an X-ray and a CT Scan and told me all is good and said it appears to be a rotator cuff injury. Weeks and weeks later my arm is getting worse and I was told if it does not improve over the next week to then come back for an MRI scan to be conducted.

Well 8 days later I return as my arm was getting worse and was told by the fast track section doctor that his boss said no MRI scan is to be conducted as there is a huge backlog of MRI scan needing to be done and that the hospital is now only conducting them in life threatening emergencies only. Hospital keeps offering me opioids for pain and sending me away with a sling. They can't even confirm if it's a rotator cuff injury or a torn/damaged tendon, instead handing me a letter to give to a GP requesting GP arrange MRI Scan and ultrasound to be conducted........Not happy with the service at all as no actual confirmed diagnoses and still in severe pain after approx 8 weeks now. I thought hospitals were meant to fix or heal patients... in my opinion, not push opioids and send them on their way with no actual completed or confirmed diagnosis given.

Responses

Response from Jan Cook, Operations Manager Coastal Hospital, WACHS South West

Dear dragonfira01

I am sorry to hear that your recent experience at Bunbury Hospital Emergency Department has not met your expectations.

Thank you for taking the time to feedback via patient opinion so that we can improve in the care we provide.

MRI scans are only performed on emergency patients in situations of extreme emergency.

If a fracture had been identified on the CT Scan and X-ray then you would have been referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.

We ensure that all patients presenting to an emergency department are referred back to their GP for ongoing care and any further referrals if required.

Dr Adam Coulson the Director of Emergency Medicine is willing to meet with you to discuss the issues that you have raised.

If you could please contact our Patient Liaison Officer on 9722 1521 and we will schedule a time for a meeting.

Yours sincerely

Jan Cook

A/Operations Manager, Bunbury Hospital

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Update posted by dragonfira01 (the patient)

The mere fact that the hospital's only concern is if there had been a fracture is highly disturbing to me. Furthermore, for the hospital to recommend I go to a GP with a letter recommending the GP refer myself for an MRI scan and an ultrasound that could have been conducted by the hospital, I feel is also disturbing, to say the least.

After leaving the hospital appalled by the treatment I received, I sought treatment from a GP who authorised an ultrasound to be conducted. Ultrasound revealed a severely damaged/torn rotator cuff and I was immediately referred to a specialist.

Shortly after submitting my story, whilst I was waiting for a response I noticed the hospital had their physiotherapy department contact myself to arrange an appointment with them. I soon discovered they only see new patients at 8:30am or 10:30am for a 1-hour session. I informed the physiotherapist department that I am only able to attend appointments in the afternoon. The receptionist's response was - well that puts you in a bit of a pickle then doesn't it?.

I'm outraged at the fact the hospital not only failed to inform myself that they had referred me to their physiotherapy department without my knowledge but further outraged at the fact appointments are only conducted at 2 allocated time slots in the mornings and no appointments conducted in the afternoons for new patients.

My personal experience with this hospital throughout this has unfortunately left myself disappointed in their treatment of patients and completely shattered any confidence and respect for them.

Response from Jan Cook, Operations Manager Coastal Hospital, WACHS South West

Dear dragonfira01

I am very sorry that you are feeling upset about your recent experience and would like to encourage you to contact our Patient Liaison Officer on 9722 1521 with your contact details so that our Director of Emergency Medicine can call you to get more information to allow us to investigate your complaint.

Yours sincerely

Jan Cook

A/Operations Manager, Bunbury Hospital

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