"A specialist appointment x 4"

About: Derby Hospital Fremantle Hospital and Health Service

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

A client was booked for an orthopedic appointment in Derby in last year. The client attended and was told they would need to go to Fremantle for a second opinion because the suggested surgery could not be done in Derby / Broome. A clinic RN tried to have this appointment made by VC but was told this wasn't acceptable. The client traveled to Perth in early this year and attended a specialist appointment there. The Freo specialist told the client they could have the surgery in Derby and referred them back to the visiting Derby specialist. Last week the client saw the Derby specialist who advised the client that they to go to Perth for the surgery as it can't be done in Derby / Broome. The client is now waiting to receive an appointment letter advising when they and their carer need to return to Perth.

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Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service

Dear AdvocateBLD

Thank you for sharing your clients story with us. Firstly apologies to your client for what sounds like, a bit of a run around and a communication problem! Going to Perth then coming back to Derby to be told to return to Perth! It's very confusing for all involved.

I have referred your story to the Acting Operations Manager at Derby Hospital to investigate the situation and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, if you would like to email me at maureen.crowther@health.wa.gov.au or call me 91941662 to follow the progress or share any further information, I would be more than happy to hear from you.

I hope your clients orthopaedic operation is sorted out quickly

Kind regards

Maureen Crowther

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Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Advocate BLD

I have been in contact with Derby Hospital, who would like to follow up with the person concerned to smooth the process in future.

In order for them to investigate this situation, they require the person’s details so a case review can be completed.

If you have consent to send through the person’s details, can you please email me, maureen.crowther@health.wa.gov.au or call me on 91941662 and I can forward the details to the Operations Manager for investigation into the process.

Thank you for being an advocate for your patient. Improvement in processes relies on feedback from people that use the system.

Many thanks

Maureen

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Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service

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Dear Advocate BLD

Thank you for emailing me and explaining the history behind your client's story.

I have forwarded on your email to the Acting Derby Operation Manager who will initiate a case review now that she has this information and may contact you if further clarification is required.

Once again, thank you for being a compassionate advocate on behalf of your client.

I will be in touch once this process has some outcomes, meanwhile feel free to contact me if you have any queries.

Kind regards

Maureen

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Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service We are preparing to make a change

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Dear Advocate BLD

Thank you for being patient with us while we have been investigating your story.

We are planning a meeting with our bones doctors, Derby mob and the Broome boss to sort out a process to avoid this happening again.

I hope you are feeling better and I’ll keep you posted on the outcome from the meeting.

Kind regards

Maureen

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Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service

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Dear Advocate BLD

I hope you’re well. Here getting back to you as promised.

Earlier today, several colleagues, the medical director and I spoke with the chief orthopaedic surgeon in Perth about your difficult situation and care so far. Everyone was sorry that communication was not clearer, sorry also that you have had much travelling to get different specialists to advise how best to serve you.

Good discussion led to agreement about the way forward. We think we can improve in a few areas. This boss surgeon who met with us today will be attending the next Derby clinic. Well, now familiar with your name and problems, he will see you personally in August. After listening and an examination with review of xrays etc, he will discuss the management plan with your client, advocate, carer and GP. Your GP hopes to be in attendance if duties and time allow.

Your story highlights need for more holistic care management along with the importance of simple, open and clear communication. We will be ensuring that visiting staff from Perth receive training which will improve their awareness about Aboriginal health matters. Our own doctors will check with visiting specialists when onward referral from Derby to Perth is recommended – again to ensure that written communication is clear.

So, given what has been organised, I hope to hear better feedback following your next appointment in August. Thank you again for sharing this story on Patient Opinion. Please share with your client and her carer our apologies for the delay and confusion. We wish them well.

Kind regards

David Gaskell

Regional Medical Director and

Maureen Crowther

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