"Poor care at hospital, after having great care 2 weeks earlier"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

Recently, my hubby was taken by ambulance to the emergency department at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He was assessed and deemed well as his vital signs where good. I arrived at the hospital to be told he had nothing wrong with him. I asked a few questions, like blood sugar level - they had only taken it once -, I asked if they had done any bloods, I asked the doctor could they please get one of the neuro team down to talk to me, they said they'd ring, but came back and said that the neuro team are seeing my hubby in October.

Over a few hours my hubby was falling into quite a deep sleep, the dialysis nurse attended while I was talking to the doctor. I asked if the doctor could look at my husband’s bed sore while we were there. They declined, but the dialysis nurse asked, as Silver Chain weren't coming to our house within the next couple of days. The doctor quickly looked and said they'd get a nurse to change the dressing. That nurse came and couldn't wake him and turned him on his side to do his heel. I mentioned my concern to them as well, about hubby. They then went to try and talk to the doctor, but came back and said that they understand my concern but their hands are tied and as my hubby’s vital signs were good the doctor wouldn't be admitting.

In the time I was there, the doctor told me off for calling the ambulance, said it was an emergency department, and they also voiced that they knew my hubby was gold card DVA and why come to, in their words, this s*** hole. They also told me that me, my hubby and our GP need to get hubby’s diabetes under control… which it actually had been for donkey years. I actually did say to this doctor that obviously they weren’t concerned about his diabetes as hadn't given him anything to eat or drink (except half cup water for his morning tabs) and they had only taken sugar levels once, until I requested another one. This all happened about 2 weeks after being admitted with stroke-like symptoms.

Anyway, hubby wasn't able to walk with walker to the car, as he was asleep, so the nurse got a porter and a wheelchair and I took him home. He fell down on the driveway as soon as I tried to stand him up, the neighbours came, he was unconscious all night. I gave him his insulin, but he couldn't hear us or open his mouth to take his other medications. It took 3 of us to get him in bed. I stayed awake all night thinking he was going to die, I felt I couldn't ring the ambulance for fear of what happened in the morning was going to happen again. The next morning, I’m glad to say, he did wake up, so I took it on myself to stop one of the dosage of a tablet the neuro team gave us, the night tablet.

My complaint is very valid, even one of the nurses actually rang my home a few days later to enquire about hubby and advised me to put in a complaint, as did my GP when we told him. The doctor would not listen, even when I asked if they could get my hubby up again to walk, they had done so very early in the day. The doctor sent him home half unconscious. The conversation was very calm between us, as I’m definitely not an aggressive person.

Our GP knows us very well, I rang him 1st beforehand and he said if concerned to ring the ambulance, which I did. The ambulance officers told me the call was warranted.

Responses

Response from Janet Zagari, Executive Director Transformation, South Metropolitan Health Service, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear capellaex73,

Thank you for posting your story on Patient Opinion, I was very disappointed to hear of your husband’s experience at Fiona Stanley Emergency Department. You raise a number of concerns regarding the care your husband received including the management of his condition, provision of basic care (food and water) and communication from our staff.

Please accept our apology, and I encourage you to contact our Patient and Family Liaison Officer via phone 6152 4013 or email FSHFeedback@health.wa.gov.au so that we can better understand the issues that you and your husband experienced and help us to continue to improve our care by addressing these issues with the relevant staff and at a departmental level.

Thank you again for making contact, without your feedback we would not be aware of these issues nor have the opportunity to improve our service.

Kind regards

Janet Zagari

Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group

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