"Lack of communication"

About: Cairns Hospital

(as a relative),

My husband was taken ill with liver cancer some distance from Cairns Base Hospital, but transferred there for assessment.

He ended up there because the specialists had never relayed to me the seriousness of his illness at a previous stint he did at the hospital.

As we live some distance away and I am not well myself I could not also get there immediately. I did have some phone contact and one talk with junior doctors, but at no time did I see the specialist himself to make things clear to me and answer my questions.

Suddenly, after three days I was phoned and told my husband would be going back to the Tablelands.  This was decided on and done without my consent.

 Phone contact is useless and gives you no time to think about what is being said.

Furthermore, when I spoke to the junior doctor it took place right outside my husband's door so I could not ask delicate questions or speak freely.

My husband returned to the Tablelands and died the next day.

There has to be better communication and explanation to family members and not just to the sick person who is usually too ill, tired and frightened to take everything in.

I was very unhappy about my husband's treatment at Cairns Base.

Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

The following response has been published by Patient Opinion Australia on behalf of Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service:

Dear Scared7,

Thank you for your feedback related to your husband's treatment at Cairns Hospital.

The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service values your feedback and seeks to resolve issues for patients, family and carers quickly; as well as improve our systems of health care. Upon reading your feedback, I was sorry to read of your loss and that you were unhappy with the treatment your husband received at Cairns Hospital. I can appreciate this is a very difficult time for you.

We take all feedback and concerns seriously, as we are committed to provide a safe and quality Health Service to our patients. Should you wish to have your concerns investigated and your husband's treatment to undergo a thorough review, could you please contact our Patient Liaison service direct on 4226 8244 or via email on CHHHS_feedback@health.qld.gov.au

Kind regards,

Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by scared7 (a relative)

I appreciate that someone took the time at all to respond, but this is the usually the sort of response you get from institutions, platitudes that could have been written by a robot.

I do wonder, myself, exactly what it is that I expect by making a complaint. Perhaps that people will try to see others as though they were their family and treat them in the same way, or that the public health system worked more sensitively for people and didn't worry so much about money or productivity. Certainly I wish old people weren't seen as dispensable when they certainly don't feel it, and I definitely hope by complaining other people are treated better in future. My husband was going to die anyway, but it is the 'how' that matters.

I may speak to the Patient Liaison Service once I feel like it, but I rather expect a similar response to the above.

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