"An amazing new service"
About: Angliss Hospital Angliss Hospital Upper Ferntree Gully 3156 BlueCross Livingstone Gardens BlueCross Livingstone Gardens Vermont South 3133 Maroondah Hospital / Emergency Department Maroondah Hospital Emergency Department Ringwood East 3135
Posted by Pilot Program (as ),
Our very elderly mother was operated on for a melanoma at her elbow. She had a skin graft and stayed overnight in a private hospital. She grazed her arm on an uneven wall decoration when she lost her balance in the hospital. She was discharged to her retirement village home that day with one of her sons who was staying with her, to make sure she was ok and had what she needed.
Unfortunately she fell over at home (3 days later) and broke the other shoulder. She was taken by ambulance to Maroondah Hospital, Eastern Health. The difference in the quality of the care was very noticeable and when doctors suggested she be transferred back to the private hospital she was very upset at the thought.
It is flu season, so beds are very tight. She was moved to an excellent unit at Angliss Hospital where she was cared for by a multidisciplinary team involving a fabulous nurse/manager/co-ordinator with incredible skills working with people; a great geriatrician and other medicos and a wonderful physio team. After a few days our mother was offered the opportunity to move again to a pilot, new program: Non weight bearers residential service at BlueCross Livingston Gardens.
This was such a blessing and overall a great experience. Our mother said: I hope they continue this wonderful program. My friends have all learnt so much about what is possible. I preferred being here at Livingston than in the hospital because:
• I had my own room and wasn’t disturbed by what was happening to others
• The physio came almost every day, the doctors came very often and discussed any and all of my worries and concerns. I felt cared for.
• The Manager, Jo was very good, she understood and was so good working with me and my family.
• I enjoyed being able to take my family and visitors downstairs for a cup of coffee
• The wifi access and other facilities like the library was very good. I could keep up with my emails and watched a great series on my iPad”
Our mother was a triple certificated nurse and is able to view her care both as a patient and from the ‘other side’. The things that were challenging in the program included:
• It is very difficult for the young staff here, they are not always proficient in English so they don’t talk to you and there is a lack of communication. Need to get the young people feeling at home.
• I would like to have a rapport with staff but there is someone new each morning. Lots of people here can’t communicate either, so it is hard for the staff too and they seem to assume no one can talk.
• We need to understand how the young staff are feeling, they are at a disadvantage.
• Sometimes they came in at night and I would wake up and get a fright as I didn’t know who they were.
• I was expected to wear a pad, so they didn’t have to help me get to the toilet.
• When I first came it was especially difficult even in the day, as I had to wait for someone to come to get to the toilet…. It was so long
• They are just so, so busy
The family experience was also extremely good. We were rung directly by the Geriatrician when there were medical issues but he always talked about the whole person, emotional wellbeing as an overlay to everything else that was going on. We received tremendous consideration from the Manager who did receive different communication from different members of the family but she was always patient and was able to help us understand what our mum could and couldn’t do. Our mother was able to make the decision herself not to return to her unit and is now on respite in what she hopes will be her new place, where all her friends are, in the same grounds as the village where she has lived for the last 30 years.
Overall the care at Eastern Health was so considerate of our mother’s needs, within the constraints of the system. This is the first time in her life that she has used the public healthcare system and it exceeded every expectation.
She could have been moved into other wards and programs with a much lower level of care and supervision but this program allowed more time to recover, repeated moving would have slowed recovery or caused more harm. We are very grateful as we are confident that our mother’s capacity to enjoy her life has been optimised, as much as possible. It is not easy for hospitals to deliver this level of care in the midst of peak demand for beds and care.
Thank you for your outstanding work.