"Poor paediatric treatment for a chronic condition"

About: Geraldton Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My child has a chronic condition, something that they have been dealing with for many years. This affects their life quite severely and my child is not at school more than they are.

For treatment, we attended Geraldton Regional Hospital, where my child was seen every few months by a paediatrician. There were two paediatricians that we seemed to alternate between seeing. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except that they both offered conflicting advice. I was informed (I felt, quite aggressively) of one method of treatment, but at the next appointment with the other doctor, I was questioned why I would be doing that treatment plan, and that I should be doing another.

Because of the conflicting advice by my child’s treating team, and the way they spoke to both me and my child, I decided to stop seeing them, instead taking my child to our GP when they had a bad flare up, as well as going to the specialist as necessary. Recently, my child was approved and put on the wait list for a new surgery/therapy to treat their condition. Now, after a number of years away from the paediatricians, we decided to go back.

At my child’s appointment with one of the paediatricians we had originally been seeing, I was told very aggressively that I needed to be locked up for not bring my child to them during those years (of which I was still taking my child to see medical professionals, albeit not these particular doctors), that my child needs psychiatric help, and that they could have cured my child by now if they hadn’t stopped coming to them. They also said that they could have fast-tracked my child on the waitlist for the treatment they were seeking.

During this appointment, this paediatrician asked my child questions but was constantly rushing them to answer them, and instead of asking my child when they wanted to take their height and weight they just pointed at what they wanted my child to do.

We have another appointment coming up later in the year, and my child does not want to go. Over the years that I saw other medical professionals, not one of them suggested that I needed to go back to the paediatricians. My child and I do not need to be spoken to like that.

Over the years there was mention of us seeing a third paediatrician, although we never have. I still want paediatric assistance for my child, but I don’t want my child to have to go through this again.

Responses

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

picture of Michele Young

Dear atlasez74

Thank you taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. I was sorry to read of your experience with our service as our aim is to provide high quality, compassionate person centred care. Please be assured that we take your feedback very seriously and your story has been passed on to members of the Executive team for review.

We would really like an opportunity to discuss the concerns you have raised and we would be grateful if you could contact us as this will allow us to investigate this matter. The contact details for Derek Fraser Geraldton Hospital Operations Manager are 9956 2369 or Derek.Fraser@health.wa.gov.au or alternately 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.

Thank you again for getting in touch, we really appreciate your feedback for without it we would not be aware of the issues and would not have the opportunity to improve our service.

I wish you and your family all the best and I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Warm regards

Michele

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