"Abysmal communication from HACC/CHSP"

About: Denmark Health Service / HACC

(as a carer),

I'm a customer of (previously) HACC (home and community care) and now CHSP (Commonwealth home support programme) receiving cleaning services fortnightly. The change from HACC to CHSP was nothing short of abysmal. Staff and cleaners knew very little or nothing about the changeover in services and could not communicate to clients what was happening. The led to, in my opinion, staff leaving in droves followed by customers leaving a previously uneconomical HACC service worse off with overworked staff, less and less clients, and those remaining totally in the dark. Finally, a letter arrived advising the changes.

Our cleaning is scheduled for a Monday, every fortnight. A few weeks ago, I waited at home patiently for the cleaner to arrive. At 2pm with no cleaner in sight, I decided to ring to find out what was happening! I was told I was scheduled for the following day (Tuesday). My comment was  "well it would be nice to be told that and to see if that timing was convenient!". An apology was offered but it meant I had sat at home waiting for a service that was never going to arrive. That is, in my view, abuse of a client and no apology suffices.

In subsequent cleaning, I was advised we were the last service for the day and would usually be after 2pm. I was okay with that but recently, I walked out into our carport at 11am to find a cleaner knocking at the door. They had come at 9.45am but found I was out and so managed to fill in somewhere else until 11am. It was just fortunate I was home then. When I explained I wasn't expecting them until 2pm the cleaner looked surprised and couldn't explain the mix up in the schedule. This has been an ongoing problem for most of the year with missed or changed services with no or very little service initiated contact. In my opinion, this system is seriously broken and needs urgent review, and is most likely the worst service I know of within the WA healthcare and aged care system and that's what makes it stand out like a sore thumb.

Please find out what's wrong and fix it for the sake of staff, clients and the WACHS reputation.

Responses

Response from Julie Hollingworth, Director of Nursing/Health Service Manager, Denmark and Plantagenet Health Services, WACHS GS

Dear Disatisfied HACC client

I am very sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with the Commonwealth Home Support Program and the miscommunication you have experienced with the timing of your appointments. I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us at Denmark Health Service and to assure you that we view all feedback as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement or to identify and share areas of good practice.

We have investigated the issue you described in your uploaded story and we have not been able to identify this occurrence. In order to help us investigate your concerns can I suggest that you contact the Director of Nursing/Health Service Manager at the Denmark Health Service on 9848 0600 or via the email address gs.psqu@health.wa.gov.au. With further information we will be able to better understand what has occurred and look for opportunities to improve the service we provide to our community.

Yours sincerely

Julie Hollingworth

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