"Not happy with service"

About: Royal Perth Hospital

(as a relative),

Hi. One of my family members - a traditional aboriginal man was transported into Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) via the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) after an accident. During his stay, he was not seen by an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer (AHLO) on the first day. I then emailed the coordinator of the AHLO after talking to my family member, asking if he had been seen and was his cultural and personal support being addressed. His pregnant partner was with him and not able to find appropriate accommodation and for the first night slept in the park when asked to leave the hospital on visitors closing time. I asked the coordinator to see that he be seen by the AHLO, as he has some complex issues that need addressing. The coordinator replied, yes it will happen when the AHLO responsible for that ward returns to work.

This did not happen. The day after, he was not seen and his partner had to find an alternative place to sleep, the ward CNC (clinical nurse consultant) called me and explained the situation, so I inquired if the visitors room on level 5 is available and thankfully she was able to stay there.

The next day I was called by my family member regarding not knowing what was going on with his care, so I called the AHLO and was able to speak to the AHLO who was in charge of that ward. I asked if the AHLO had seen the patient and their response was that they were busy and that they were writing up his discharge papers. I again asked if the AHLO had seen him to discuss his personal and cultural needs and their response was no.

So I questioned where were they discharging him to and is he going home with his partner. The AHLO's response was vague and they stated that he was being discharged to the Perth community, so he could attend follow-up appointments. I again asked have you spoken to my family member to see if this suited him and his partner and I was told no.

I think that to organise a discharge without discussing the options with the client is a bit strange to say the least. I also understand there were other circumstances that were out of the control of the AHLO, although I thought with more discussion it would have been an easier process.

RPH is currently investigating the number of Aboriginal clients that are reported as DWMA (discharge against medical advice) and non-shows at follow up appointments . I think the AHLO team would be trying to minimise as much confusion and discomfort as possible to all Aboriginal Clients who attend RPH.

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