"Lack of care of my late sibling"

About: Box Hill Hospital Wantirna Health

(as a relative),

Mixed emotions. Huge contrast in care, in my opinion.

Several months ago, my sibling entered the health system through the ED at another hospital (read story here). From that date until the date of their passing a few months later, I felt we experienced the best and the worst of the public health system. Unfortunately, my sibling never left the hospital system from admittance to their date of death. I visited them almost on a daily basis so was witness to many of their frustrations. I believe my sibling had to be vigilant with monitoring medications throughout their hospital stay.

The worst being, in my opinion, an almost tie between Box Hill and Wantirna Health Palliative care (where ironically, I felt there was a distinct lack of care) and it was more ‘leave you in the corner to die’ facility and my sibling was only there for a few days. Their condition deteriorated so quickly, mainly due to lack of sustenance, in my opinion, so basically I believe my sibling was starved to death. I felt the interactions with many Box Hill Hospital staff, at all levels, from Senior medical staff to ward staff, was often disrespectful, uncaring and lacking in empathy. There were a small number of good staff but as a whole, I felt there was such a contrast to the care at another hospital.

My sibling died after 4 days at Wantirna Health, I felt they received little support and care and their health deteriorated very quickly. I received a phone call around 3 am advising me of my sibling's passing. In the blur of the news, sleep and emotion I was told that I needed to make immediate arrangements to remove my sibling from the facility as there were no Mortuary facilities. First of all, how does a Palliative care facility not have this, at least in the short term, when this is the inevitable outcome! More importantly, how would you not warn people to have everything arranged with a Funeral Director.

Box Hill might be a beautifully equipped hospital but in the end, I feel it comes down to the people and I believe there weren't enough good ones, even at a senior level.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear robinf79,

Thank you for taking the time to share these comments regarding the experience you had with your sibling at both Box Hill Hospital and Wantirna Health. Please accept my condolences following the recent passing of your sibling.

It was with much distress that I read your experience and I would like to apologise that firstly your experience was less than positive plus also the care and behaviour of staff involved in your sibling's care appear to not be in line with expectations we have. Eastern Health is proud of the values we have being Patients First, Kindness, Respect, Excellence, Agility and Humility and your experience highlights a number of these appear to be lacking.

I would like to offer you an opportunity for a full review of your sibling's care given the issues you have included in your comments. In order to do this, we will need some personal details that are no doubt best to be kept private and therefore invite you to contact one of our Patient Relations Advisors in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience either by calling 1800 EASTERN or by emailing feedback@easternhealth.org.au. If you choose to call please be aware that it is possible that the Patient Relations Advisors may be on another call at the time you ring and if so you will be invited to leave a message so they can return your call.

I really hope we hear from you soon and my apologies again.

Kind regards

David

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