"Delayed heart surgery with no communication"

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

(as the patient),

I was recently flown by Royal Flying Doctor Service to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for major heart disease and associated health conditions. While I stayed in hospital, the surgeon prescribed 3 more medications to help prepare me for the operation. I was provided hospital transport to East Perth where I caught a bus back to Perth. I was informed that my surgery would take place and given the relevant paperwork to that effect. On this occasion I had seen the hospital dentist and had some dental work done. The dentist also gave me a letter to give to the public dentist in Geraldton stating that I need dentures urgently due to having major surgery soon. This I duly did as soon as I got back to Geraldton.

I travelled from Geraldton to Perth a few weeks later where I was booked into a motel ready for my for my appointment at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital the next day. 

Arrived before appointed time and was told that I could not be found on the system. I had the hard copy of my appointment on hand. After several hours I was informed that an email had been sent from one department to another within the hospital a week prior saying that my surgery had been cancelled due to problems with my teeth. I had not been informed, hence my being in Perth.

I managed to see the surgeon and was informed that surgery could after all be performed a few days later. So, I had to re-book my hotel room for another few nights. I had explained to nurses and others that I had not been to Perth for 30 years and had absolutely nobody to help me in Perth. The loft was fully booked.

I was told to be at Short Stay Unit on the day of surgery at set time and arrived half an hour early. I sat there for 3 hours watching all these people go through until I was the last one left. Finally I was informed that my surgery had once again been cancelled. When I asked why they said it was unavailability of ICU beds. I could not believe that I am having major heart surgery and they have no way to take care of me directly after my surgery.

The nice nurse in charge managed to get me a flight that afternoon payed for by Patient Assistant Transport Scheme (PATS) I believe.

So, the upshot of all this is I have lost a week of work, it has been a major inconvenience, and I am out approximately $600 after paying the balance after PATS for accommodation, food, and taxis. And still nothing has been done.

I am also unsure whether to carry on with the medications that the surgeon prescribed to prepare me for surgery. I also have no idea when/if I will be re-booked for surgery. Some clarification would be appreciated.

I have also been informed and it is in one of the handouts that I was given that I have to stay in Perth for one week after release after eventual surgery. How do I do this, as stated above, I have nobody.


Response from Janet Zagari, A/Executive Director, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear volanscf58,

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns regarding your recent experience at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. I was very sorry to read of the communication issues that have caused both frustration and distress in relation to your presentation and subsequent cancellation of your surgery especially as you had the added difficulty of being from Geraldton. I understand that the cancellation of your surgery was unavoidable and that doctor has now been in contact with you and am hopeful that the issues you have identified have now been resolved to your satisfaction.

I would encourage you to contact the Patient Liaison Service at SCGH on 6457 2867 if you experience any further issues so that we can assist you with resolving them.

Once again, my sincere apologies that you had such a frustrating experience here at SCGH.

Kind regards

Janet Zagari

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