"Poor physio care"

About: Allied Health (Bass Coast Health) Wonthaggi Hospital

(as the patient),

Recently one morning, I fell in the lane behind a supermarket. I was helped by a gentleman but unable to get up. Staff from the store & I believe a lady who is a first aider came and called the ambulance.  

On arrival at Wonthaggi Hospital I was examined by Dr W who did an ultrasound of my left (L) shoulder (using their moblie phone) & an x-ray showed a fracture of my L humerus, as well as swelling & bruising of L arm.

Dr W spoke to Ortho Reg on call at another hospital who requested a CT scan of shoulder.

I had been given oral pain relief & a sling for my arm. I was then admitted to Short Stay to wait for a decision on treatment. Everyone in Emergency dept was very kind & helpful.

On admission, I was settled in and gratefully accepted some sandwiches & a 'cuppa' as lunch had passed me by! As no decision on what was going to happen had been made, I spent the night between bed & chair as I was very uncomfortable, but the staff were very kind and helped where possible.

After breakfast, I was told that I was to be discharged home with my arm in a sling from the physio and to await a call from the other hospital re surgery. I had told Dr W that I did not want surgery unless it was really necessary. 

Later that morning, I was told that the Physio would come & see me about a sling for my arm before I left the hospital. I waited in the ward until mid-morning when Physio had still not appeared, even though I had asked when were they coming. I was told the physio was in Armitage House and knew they needed to see me before I could leave.

After discharge I waited with my spouse for the physio in the foyer. They finally arrived at shortly after midday, when they said that they had Googled it & the sling that the Ambo's had put on was good enough. I insisted that the sling was insufficient support in my opinion and not what had been ordered. (it was a piece of Vilene type of fabric).

I felt the physio begrudgingly went to the Physio Dept for a sling, which they put on under protest. I felt their attitude to me was that I was a nuisance and wasting their valuable time.

After all this I was exhausted, in a lot of pain and upset & went home to rest in a chair, bed not being an option.

A few days in and I felt the sling was very uncomfortable but I persisted with it & the endone.

The next day I consulted Mr Google and discovered that I believe I had been given the wrong size sling. A measurement from elbow point to knuckle was necessary to get the correct size sling and I believe they come in 5 sizes. At no point did the physio measure my arm, I felt they decided that what they gave me was OK.

When I rang the physio to tell them this I felt they were very off-hand & uninterested, I also told them I would be coming to change it they appeared not to be interested.

On arrival at physio, I waited a few minutes and was seen by Manu who was very pleasant and helpful. After measuring and fitting a larger size sling I was comfortable at last!

In the 1950's a Professor of medicine in London, UK wrote a book called 'Patients are People', I feel maybe something like that should be required reading for young physio's in future.


Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health

picture of Jan Child

Dear mayflower,

I am so sorry that you had this experience and so appreciative that you took the time to provide us with this feedback. As I was reading your story I thought there were a few things that we could have done to make your experience a little easier.

I wonder if you would have the time to call me on 0472846355 so that I can review your file and ask a couple more questions.

Many Thanks.

Cheers, Jan.

  • mayflower thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} other {{helpful-1 == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} so too