"Aftercare information following my operation"

About: Geraldton Hospital

(as the patient),

I had tendon repair a number of weeks ago. I had to travel to Geraldton to have my tendon repair, 70% damage. The surgeon supervised a trainee doctor who did the op on day. A week later I went back to Geraldton for a review and to see an Occupational Therapist (OT). A hand splint was made up and I was given 2 exercises to do and told the splint should be on between 8-12 weeks. I was never told to go to further physio appointments, I walked out of there without them giving me another appointment, but I did have another appointment in 4 weeks time to see my surgeon for another review. So I go to that appointment and the surgeon was shocked to see that I had little movement, scar tissue and swelling, numbness in my thumb and index finger (the one that was operated on), and he  asked if I had been going to physio every week? I told him no, as no one had told me to go back, I was given only two minor exercises to do and to keep the splint on. He told me to get rid of the splint straightaway and go off to see the OT after seeing him, for more exercises. I asked for an MRI scan from the doctor as the swelling was really bad, and my finger was hurting. He gave me a referral for one. I had one that day at St John of Gods Hospital, and went off to the OT. The OT gave me more exercises and said she didn’t know why I wasn’t given anymore physio appointments after my first review - she didn’t have an answer for me. I went back for a review on my finger a week later and the original surgeon was not there, but another surgeon reviewed it. The MRI hadn’t been sent through, so I had to wait another 15 mins for that to be sent through. The out of cost for the MRI was about $130, something that I shouldn’t have had to pay for if I was given the correct info, and weekly appointments for my finger. I have been let down by someone in the system, but the doctor was saying it’s physio department and physio section saying that the referral to them should have stated weekly appointments. I believe my finger is stuffed, not to mention the pain and swelling and the scar tissue that has built up because of lack of exercises, and massaging. The original surgeon mentioned I could get a gel sent up from Perth and go in for another Op to clean out scar tissue, and the other surgeon I saw last week, says not to do that. I’m confused and very disappointed that I’m in this predicament and it could have been prevented with the right info/appointments. This has caused a lot pain and stress for me. Hoping you will contact me back about my issue. 

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Responses

Response from Jeffrey Calver, Regional Director, Executive Services, WACHS- Midwest

Dear Tendon Repair

Thank you for taking the time to write to us on Patient Opinion. I am very sorry to read about your experience, WA Country Health Service aims to provide high quality, appropriate and professional healthcare and it appears we have not met this standard with your care.

Your feedback is important to us and we would like the opportunity to investigate your concerns to see how we can further assist you and improve our service going forward. I would like to encourage you to contact Derek Fraser, Operations Manager Geraldton Hospital on 9956 2369 or Elyshia Lanza-Cariccio,Support Officer on 9956 2291 or CES.WACHS-Midwest@health.wa.gov.au. Please be assured that we will be launching an investigation to address the concerns you have raised.

Again, I apologise for the way you have experienced our service and we look forward to speaking with you.

Warm Regards

Jeff Calver

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