"Wagga Base Hospital"

About: Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital

(as a relative),

My father was a patient at Wagga Base Hospital back in May, and I too was horrified at the state of the hospital. My father is elderly with a heart and lung condition, and although has high private medical cover, he chooses to use his private cover to help with the public system – however I do not think he will make this choice anymore.

He was admitted through Emergency, and although, in my opinion, the emergency department was certainly looking tired and dated, the staff were wonderful, and attentive in the emergency department. We have nothing but praise for their service.

However, when Dad finally got a bed, he was admitted to Ward 3, it was a different story. What a disgrace, it looked run down, untidy and according to my father the bathroom (only one in operation- for the entire floor) was filthy, with urine over the floor.

I agree with “rainbows” comments https://www.patientopinion.org.au/opinions/58400 about the food. Besides the quality, the hot piping soup hermetically sealed with plastic, in my opinion is an accident waiting to happen. The food is “plonked” down, sometimes missing the appropriate cutlery, we buttered a roll with a spoon, or ate ice cream with its lid, and if my family at the time visiting hadn’t attended the very frail gentleman in the bed next to my father, he may not have eaten, as often we observed he could not open his food (ie: soup etc). The first day, I asked the dinner lady, if my father could have some water in his jug, she pointed to the sink in the hall where the nurses/doctors washed their hands and told me to fill it up myself.

One day it appeared that only one lift for the whole hospital was working, so that after lengthy delays and being kicked out three times of the lift to make way for patients/food trays etc, by the time we had reached Level 1, we instead took to the steps making my 75 year old mother climb three levels of stairs. Nurses were going searching from room to room to find what seemed like the only working “vitals” machine for all the patients, and I only had to walk down the corridor, and see all the broken machines and equipment lining the corridor with signs to see how much upgrading/fixing of resources/equipment is needed.

My father had an incident with his heart early the first morning (he was wearing a monitor), and nurses upon attending him, advised him that if he felt a little funny, or anything out of the ordinary he was to press his buzzer. However, his buzzer was faulty and did not always work, they just remarked keep buzzing, it will at some stage buzz! His bedside phone did not work, in fact I am not really sure what really was working. There was many more minor incidents I could re-tell, and perhaps if they only were isolated, I could laugh it off, but when it was one after another, then it became just beyond a joke.

Perhaps the biggest and most worrying aspect of Dad’s visit, was after that first morning (when Dad had an incident with his heart), my mother had asked if we could speak to a doctor about what had occurred, this was at 9 am. The nurse told us that a doctor would pop in and see us. Late that afternoon we still had not heard, I asked a nurse again if the doctor would be coming in to see us, as we were worried about my father, and would like to know what is happening, she assured us that she would see what was happening. She came back and said that unfortunately the doctor had been called away, and did not get to see us, and someone had forgotten to tell us. She briefly informed us that it was a small incident with his heart, and dad having a history of heart trouble, we requested that we would like Dad to be seen by a heart specialist, and we were told that a certain heart specialist (we were given a name) would see him. By 7pm that night, still no sign of a doctor, and I decided I would take my mother home as she was drooping (she had not as yet had lunch or dinner – refusing to leave my father in case the doctor came). As we were leaving a man was entering the ward, and looked indeed like a specialist, so I ran back to the nurses station to advise them that I was taking my mother home, but could they tell me if he was the heart specialist (I gave the doctors name) that we were advised earlier that would see my father. They looked at me strangely and said, that it would be a bit hard for that doctor to see my father, as that doctor left on annual leave the day before. I was now so frustrated and upset, no-one seemed to know what was happening.

A young intern behind me, overhearing my comments, said that she would help and look at my fathers records, to give us some idea of what happened, I could not speak highly enough of this intern. She also said that she would see if her specialist that she was interning under, could add Dad to his list, and see him tomorrow. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Nor did our request of Dad seeing a heart specialist, whilst dad was in hospital instead it was left for him to see one when he was discharged.

I do not know the reason why the hospital appears so run down, but something needs to be done, there is lots of money being put into building the new hospital – but is this to expense of today’s patients? ? ?

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