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"Care or lack of in Box Hill Hospital"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as a relative),

My husband was transferred to Box Hill from our local Hospital over 100km away for urgent surgery earlier this year.

His pain was under control and due to public holidays, etc his surgery had to be deferred for a few days.

His medical care was fine, all well done, while his personal care was disgusting. He was left in the same gown for five days, not even offered a wash or asked if he needed any help. My husband has a medical condition affecting his legs which means he can only walk when he has his calipers on or he uses his wheelchair to get around. My husband does not go to hospital very often and he would not know to ask for things, so he did not ask for anything. On the fourth day I said to one of the nurses “What does my husband have to do to get any help around here?” I believe the answer was “He needs to ask us”. While I agree with the answer, the staff could see that he had a theatre gown on and that his bed needed making. Not impressed to say the least. I also have a disability, so when we are home we have things worked out.

His operation was done on the afternoon and he returned to the ward that evening. I got to the hospital during the middle of the next day to be told by my husband that he might be going home that day. My reaction was, how are we going to cope with us both having special needs, etc. I went to buy a paper for my husband and while I was gone he was told to get dressed he was going home. Lack of consultation, with the patient. I went out and spoke to the nurse’s looking after my husband who I believe said - have you seen him yet? He should be okay to go home. I then said, but we both have disabilities, it would be much easier if you could keep my husband for another night. No luck. Nurse’s then went into a meeting and the discharge nurse arrived. I would have loved to speak to a doctor as we had no discharge plan, we were only sent home with the information from the Pharmacy. Not good enough.

I said to the discharge nurse we have been given no information about what my husband is allowed to do and not allowed to do. Is he allowed to drive or not? When should the dressings come off. The transit nurse/person had to get the nurse out of a meeting so she could answer our questions.

The nurse came out of the meeting seemingly having not liked being interrupted and I asked the above questions. To be told that the dressings should fall off and that my husband should not drive for 3 weeks until after his first review. You could see by the nurses face that she had assumed neither of us drove a car and we both do!

We were then shown to the transit lounge to wait for medication etc.

Another very large issue I have is that no one in the hospital knew where the disabled parking spots were. I asked reception, not sure, I asked the volunteer desk, not sure. Are you telling me that a hospital that size that is only 3 years old does not have any disabled parking spots? Where they are placed is very important as I drive with my hands which means I cannot use boom gates, if the disabled parking spots were down there I will never be able to use them in the future. Where do you park then when you have to go to the hospital? We would really like an answer to this question. Also would like feedback or something on the above story please.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Basic nursing care

Many thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback on Patient Opinion. I would like to sincerely apologize for the experience of both your husband and yourself during your husbands stay at Box Hill Hospital.

You have provided many details of his care that really disappoint me and I would like to investigate these specifically with the ward your husband was in. If you would like me to do this, I would welcome you emailing me privately at david.plunkett@easternhealth.org.au I would also be keen to make sure you and your husband have the information available regarding ongoing care

With regards to disabled parking spots, there are some 4 hour parks available out the front of Building B (the old hospital building) on Nelson Road that don't require entry through a boom gate. I'm sorry to say, they are a little distance from the ward areas, but are the closest parks when attending a clinic appointment. I will make sure the reception staff are able to provide this information to people when needed as well, but please accept my apology they weren't able to assist you when you asked.

I look forward to hearing from you and again please accept my apologies.

Kind regards

David

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