"Going from Geraldton to Perth"

About: Patient Assisted Travel Scheme - WACHS Midwest Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

(as the patient),

I felt I was prepared with all boarding information and taxi fare going to Perth. But coming back I was confused by the whole system. I am a senior who has not traveled alone out of Geraldton but once.


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

picture of Michele Young

Dear Hope eternal

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Patient Opinion. I was so pleased to read that the team in Geraldton were able to provide you with support and assistance with your application for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS) and travelling to Perth however I was disappointed to read that you had some concerns on your return trip.

Please be reassured that we take your feedback seriously and are committed to improving the experience of all health service users. We would like an opportunity to investigate your concerns so that we can understand what occurred and importantly work to improve our service. To allow us an opportunity to do this we would be grateful if you could contact us directly to discuss the issues you have raised. Karen Street, Director Population Health can be contacted on 9956 1962 or my details are 9956 8695 or michele.young@health.wa.gov.au, your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish.

Thanks again for getting in touch, we really appreciate your feedback, without it we would not be aware of issues like this happening and would not have the opportunity to improve our service. I look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Kind regards


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Update posted by Hope eternal (the patient)

I have been in touch with staff as requested by Michele Young in her above response to my story. As a result of this conversation I feel that I should include some more details:

• I attended the ED at Geraldton Hospital with what I thought was a cut finger. I was advised by the doctor in the ED it was a cut tendon and required urgent surgery in Perth. The ED arranged for flight to Perth and transferred care to SCGH that morning.

• On arrival at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) I used the phone in reception to alert staff of my arrival. I waited an hour for a bed.

• When ready for discharge I told the nurse I was from Geraldton and would need assistance to get home. The nurse advised they could only support bus travel home.

• I declined this option as I still felt unsteady from the anaesthetic. As I mentioned before, I am a senior. I then asked the nurse to assist with booking flights online as I had never done this before, the nurse declined as she said she was busy and I was discharged.

• The other patients on the ward noticed I was distressed as I had never booked a flight before, and they assisted me to book a return flight to Geraldton.

• On leaving the hospital I was escorted to the front of the SCGH in a wheelchair by staff.

• On arrival at the airport my injury was noted by airline staff who then asked for Fitness to Fly documentation which I did not have. On calling SCGH staff stated they were not aware I had left. The airline allowed me to fly, but I was not sure if they managed to track down the relevant paperwork from SCGH.

• There is no documentation with Geraldton PATS regarding this journey.

• I am linked in with Telehealth for follow up of my tendon repair surgery and had an appointment recently.

I am very agreeable to discuss this further with SCGH. I now understand this is not standard procedure and I am pleased to know that Geraldton staff appreciate me telling my story to give them the opportunity to improve in future.

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

picture of Michele Young

Dear Hope Eternal

Thanks for getting in touch with Karen Street, Director Population Health. I have contacted Patient Opinion and they have posted your response above and included Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital so they will be notified of your concerns.

I will also notify the Patient Flow team who will liaise with the teams in Perth relating to the issues you have experienced.

Best wishes


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Response from Geraldine Carlton, A/Executive Director Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

picture of Geraldine Carlton

Dear Hope eternal,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) and for providing further detail regarding the issues and concerns in relation to the preparation and arrangements for your travel back to Geraldton following treatment. Firstly, I wish to express my sincere apologies for the lack of coordination and communication, and the confusion that this left you with. The experience you describe in your follow-up post on Patient Opinion is certainly not in keeping with the values of our hospital.

I also wish to reassure you that we take your feedback very seriously and use this to improve the services we provide. I would like to assist you further with the issues you have raised and encourage you to contact our Patient Liaison Service on (08) 6457 2867 so that we are able to obtain further details and investigate more fully.

Once again, I wish to express my sincere apologies and hope that you will be happy to contact us.

Kind regards

Geraldine Carlton

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