"Patient mismanagement"

About: Central Gippsland Health

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

A palliative patient who is a client of Community Palliative Care CGHS had to attend CGHS ED one night recently for uncontrolled symptoms. After assessment he was told he was able to be discharged home at 0200 but had no one to transport him. His wife who is also elderly was at home in bed so CGHS paid for a taxi to transport him. He did not have a house key as he thought he would get home earlier. Unfortunately when he knocked on the door his wife got up to answer the door and fell fracturing her hip and wrist. This gentleman had to break in and get an ambulance for her. He is a palliative patient who is unable to drive and has been unable to visit his wife while she has had her hip and wrist repaired in Traralgon. Perhaps sending elderly and chronically unwell patients home at this hour could be reviewed for obvious safety reasons.

Responses

Response from Frank Evans, CEO, Central Gippsland Health

picture of Frank Evans

Dear Concerned carer

Thank you for providing us with this information that will help us to improve our care of elderly and palliative patients. We would be very grateful if you would pass on our response to your client.

Dear Client.

I am very sorry your wife has had such a serious accident following our discharging you from our Emergency Department in the middle of the night.

We certainly do not want to send elderly and chronically unwell patients home at such an hour. Even if you had wanted to go home we should have escorted you and made sure on your return home that you were comfortably settled in and your symptoms remained under control. Our oncall specialist palliative care nurses are available to do this.

If you are happy to contact me or allow the staff member who completed this for you to provide me with your contact details I will be able to provide you with a more informed response.

If your wife is still in hospital in Traralgon we can organise to take you to visit her, if you're feeling up to the trip. If your wife is rehabilitating back here in Sale we can help you to come and visit, once again if you are up to it.

Once again I am very sorry and I hope to hear from you further.

My contact details are:

Email: frank.evans@cghs.com.au

Phone: 51438660

Kind regards

Frank

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Response from Frank Evans, CEO, Central Gippsland Health We have made a change

picture of Frank Evans

Dear Concerned carer

Thank you once again for telling us your story. Subsequently senior staff from our Emergency Department and Community Services, including Palliative Care, have determined that we can escort palliative care patients home if we discharge them in the middle of the night if required.

I am pleased that your wife is recovering and I want to assure you that we will take an active role in supporting her when she returns home.

Once a again I am very sorry for what happened to you and your wife and I hope you will feel comfortable contacting me directly should you need my assistance in the future.

Kind regards

Frank

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