"Doctor forgot."

About: Joondalup Health Campus / General surgery

(as a relative),

Well after arriving at Joondalup Hospital to see my husband and finding my 'strong rock' crying - (yes literally tears streaming down his face) in pain we knew the pain management plan was not working. Having helped 2 other family members and a very good friend with trial and error pain management and succeeding we asked the doctor to come - he agreed to increase the pain medication and then he forgot to write it up. An error which cost my husband a full day of pain - and a wasted 8 more hours - yes, that's right - 8 hours - of being what we felt was fobbed off to then be told that the doctor was now finished for the day and we would now have to wait for the resident to come round and write it up...grrrrr...and this is supposed to be quality care for going Private? 

Responses

Response from Ben Irish, Director of Clinical Services, Joondalup Health Campus

picture of Ben Irish

Dear perseusmq54

Thank you for your feedback regarding the 8 hour delay your husband experienced obtaining additional pain when the doctor who agreed to do so did not chart it. It must have been extremely distressing for you to see your husband crying and in pain.

It is unacceptable that a patient should have to wait for pain relief due to an error like this and we are disappointed that this happened.

At Joondalup Health Campus we have a number of ways in which a patient or family member can raise a concern like this where a patient’s condition is causing the patient or family member worry. The “Ramsay Rule” can be activated by a patient or relative by contacting the hospital switch board where the call is immediately paged to a member of the Executive team for investigation and speedy resolution. We always encourage patients or relatives to speak to the ward manager or nurse co-ordinator on the ward immediately they have any issues as they are best placed to resolve the matter swiftly. We also have our consumer liaison service which is available to advocate on behalf of the patient or family member.

We are sorry that these avenues were not accessed as we are sure we could have prevented your husband experiencing any further delay obtaining pain relief. If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact our consumer liaison office on 08 9400 9672 or consumerliaison.jhc@ramsayhealth.com.au

We hope that your husband’s pain is now manageable and that he is well on the road to recovery.

Kind regards

Ben Irish

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Update posted by perseusmq54 (a relative)

Once on track with his meds, my husband did speak with the Nurse Manager. The next day we had another issue with meds automatically being ceased... a slow release drug which offers a platform for pain relief. This was fixed very quickly by my husband requesting to immediately see the pain team.

The Anaesthesia director's colleague is an outstanding example of listening to the patient and family and acknowledging that they actually do know about the strategies they are suggesting (through experience).

We do know about the Consumer Liaison - which can take a long time to craft the info (and hard to do when you are stressed and mainly concerned about getting your loved one's needs met)... and longer to get a response. Thanks for instigating the Ramsay Rule... which no one had told us about. Access to Executive Management is a good idea. We have lots of feedback about how things can be improved and it would be an idea to speak with you in person because, to be honest, in my opinion, the culture is lacking and the focus on customer care could change a patient's (and family members') experience of Ramsay at Joondalup.

The combined experience of my husband's working life and mine covers a breadth and depth of training and education across a range of community organisations (including hospitals, aged care, disability services and mental health at a high level) and executive management. There are many, many things that the staff can do to care and improve - from consultants to nursing staff to the people who offer tea/coffee - to be more person and family centred... and many of the suggestions are simple!

Response from Ben Irish, Director of Clinical Services, Joondalup Health Campus

picture of Ben Irish

Dear perseusmq54

We would love to catch up with you in person to listen and chat about your ideas and thoughts regarding improving the services that we provide at JHC. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to meet up with you and your husband to have further discussions with you both.

If you could call Alison or Sarah our consumer liaison officers they would be more than happy to chat with you regarding a time and date that would best suit you both to come along and meet up for chat with some of our key staff involved with quality improvements.

The consumer liaison department telephone number is 9400 9672 or alternatively you can email them at consumerliaison.jhc@ramsayhealth.com.au

We look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.

Kind regards

Ben Irish

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Updates, changes and questions related to this story

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