"Premature discharge."

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital / Emergency Department

(as other),

It pains me to have to write this, but I feel very strongly that SCGH needs to understand the ramifications of their decisions. Recently I had my wife home for the weekend from her nursing home. The day after she arrived home she became unwell in the afternoon and I called an ambulance. At around 4 pm she presented to your ED. During all this time my wife was agitated. She was seen by a junior medical officer. She was sent for an x-ray and I presume that it was clear as nobody told me any different. It took nearly 4 hours for a urine sample to be obtained so that some sort of diagnosis could be made. At no time was she offered anything to eat or drink or any attempt made to make sure that she had her normal medications. Finally they gave her a dose of antibiotics based on the fact that a couple of months ago she presented with similar symptoms which proved to be a septic UTI (urinary tract infection). I was then told that it was better for her to be discharged back to the nursing home. I had my doubts. As I had in the past had problems in getting her stay extended I went along with their plan. She was discharged with a script, which in itself I thought a bit off.

I had to ring the nursing home the next day to find out if she in fact had arrived. What happened next is the subject of another complaint. What you people need to know is that my wife required acute care rather than high care. The nursing homes are (according to them) not funded for acute care. My wife when she has a UTI, which she gets all too often becomes very agitated and requires constant monitoring. The nursing home does not provide this. The day after her ED visit, my wife suffered two falls one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I have been told that in my wife’s age group 20% of falls are fatal. I went over there & at my insistence a locum was called who asked their supervisor for my wife to be monitored. They declined. My view is that my wife should never have been discharged in the first place at least until the agitation had subsided and that it was confirmed that she was on the correct medication. In my opinion, what we have here is an obvious case of buck passing. At no time did I speak to or see the registrar. Does my wife need to break her hip, which with her medical condition could prove fatal before she gets the care she needs? As it was she hit her head.


Response from Geraldine Carlton, A/Executive Director Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

picture of Geraldine Carlton

Dear sagittariustq69

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your concerns in relation to the care your wife received whilst in the Emergency Department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. I wish to sincerely apologise for the experience you describe and the distress and disappointment this caused for both you and your wife. This is not in keeping with the expectation and values of our service. I am very sorry to hear of your wife falling at her nursing home and hope that she is receiving the care she needs and is recovering well.

I would like to follow-up on this matter so that we can ensure clinical services are made aware and improvement is made. I encourage you to contact the Patient Liaison Service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital on (08) 6457 2867 so that we are able to obtain further details and investigate the concerns you have raised more fully.

Once again, I wish to express my sincere apologies and hope that you will be happy to contact us.

Kind regards,

Geraldine Carlton.

  • sagittariustq69 doesn't think this response is helpful
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Update posted by sagittariustq69 (other)

To me this is only half a response. I think that I gave them plenty of information and that the acting executive director should have waited until she had input from the emergency department before sending this reply. I think that she has now left so I am not sure where that leaves me. I have contacted patient liaison and hopefully I might get a fuller response after the 8th January (I didn't see any value in pushing for something earlier as I am after a proper investigation).

Response from Geraldine Carlton, A/Executive Director Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

picture of Geraldine Carlton

Dear sagittariustq69,

Thank you for your follow-up reply. I acknowledge and appreciate that you provided some detail in your first Patient Opinion post, however in these situations we do ask patients and family members to call the Patient Liaison Service (PLS) with further details to ensure we are able to carry out a thorough investigation of the concerns raised. I am sorry that you felt let down by my earlier reply and wish to reassure you that we take your feedback very seriously.

I understand that you have had further contact with the PLS and they are assisting you with the issues you raised regarding your wife’s care and discharge from the Emergency Department. I also understand they have advised they will be in touch with after the 8th of January.

Thank you again for raising your concerns.

Kind regards

Geraldine Carlton

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Update posted by sagittariustq69 (other)

I feel that I have little choice but to wait until January which is what I will do. I have made my point and will leave it at that until January

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