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"Our experience of the health services at Bass Coast."

About: Ambulance Victoria Bass Coast Health

(as a relative),

Recently when we were at Philip Island it was extremely busy, the temperature was super hot, around 40 which is most unusual on the Island. In the early afternoon, a family member became very unwell after exercising in the heat, clearly needing medical care. 

 I called 000 and explained the details, they were excellent but the mobile phone did cut out twice and this added to my worry that the ambulance wouldn't find us, and with the appalling traffic wouldn't get us to where we needed to go. But although I did have to call back 000 twice they were excellent, and within 10 minutes a Mica ambulance and 2 cars arrived. The paramedics were incredibly good, experienced, knowledgeable, calm and efficient and all the while communicating to all of us about what they were doing, especially to my sick husband. They decided that he needed to go to ED at Bass Coast, this happened and despite the traffic they got there quickly as did we, the staff in ED were mixed, the care was good , the ward clerk was helpful and kind, the doctor flat out on her feet, but thorough and careful. The nurse in short stay was really excellent, although she had 4/5 very sick patients, she engaged with all the families and explained what the plan was. Overall the care we received was very good.

I have 2 suggestions. One is that the ED nurses should introduce themselves, Hello my name is ... and I am looking after you- this didn't happen and really adds to the vulnerability that I felt with a very sick husband and most concerned daughter.  This doesn't take any time as the short stay nurse demonstrated. 

Responses

Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health

picture of Jan Child

Dear Worried wife,

Even before I managed to open your post, I had received a number of emails from staff who had read your post to say they agreed wholeheartedly that the staff should introduce themselves to patients and families. I also totally agree! It is common courtesy; it is part of our orientation to all new staff; and it is one of our expectations, but we clearly need to do some re-education to all our staff about this very basic form of communication. Please be assured that we will follow this up with some vigour.

You said you had two suggestions but I couldn't see the second - I would be very pleased to hear it if you wouldn't mind taking the time.

On our paramedics - I have to tell you that I think we in Bass Coast are blessed with an incredibly skilled and expert group of Ambulance members. They are, in my view, extraordinary health professionals who do a wonderful job day in and day out and we at BCH are very pleased to be able to work with them so collaboratively to serve our community.

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. It's very much appreciated and very constructive.

Kind Regards,

Jan

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Update posted by Worried Wife (a relative)

Hi Jan,

My other suggestion is that an additional mobile tower needs to be a regular process at Philip Island for those very predictably high tourists days and weeks. I know this isn’t a health service issue but directly impacts access to emergency services and therefore can influence the perception of access and service to Philip Island folk. This addition of extra capacity by Telstra (?) is a regular addition to big events so shouldn’t be difficult to achieve, especially if critical to effective emergency services. As I said I was cut off from 000 twice as the reception was so poor.

Thanks for your comments on staff introducing themselves and I reiterate both the short stay nurse (Cleo?) and the doctor (Hillary?) did so and were very attentive and gave us great confidence. Please pass on our thanks to these staff.

Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health We are preparing to make a change

picture of Jan Child

Hello again Worried wife and thank you for getting back to me with the further detail.

Whilst there is much that we can do always to improve access to healthcare, I haven't had much luck influencing National telecommunications companies in the past (!!!):) - but I fully understand your issues and have taken the liberty to send your post onto Telstra so that they can understand the impact of their service. I hope that is OK.

As to your feedback re Hilary and Cleo - you have identified two of our finest! Both Hilary (our doctor) and Cleo (our nurse) are role models. I have passed on your post to them and acknowledged their excellent work.

We have also embarked on a project that is being led by our Training and Development Unit about identifying ourselves and properly introducing ourselves to our patients. It is very much aligned with our value of respect and we will pursue this org wide strategy to do better in the future.

Kind Regards,

Jan

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Update posted by Worried Wife (a relative)

Jan

It is so impressive that you reply to these messages directly and so promptly says so much about your leadership.

Thanks

Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health

picture of Jan Child

Thank you:) Patient Opinion has been a wonderful way for Bass Coast Health to hear directly from community members about what we do well and what we don't - it is an extremely important way by which we continually improve what we do and people like you who take the time, make us better - so, thank you!!!

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