"When is an emergency NOT?"
Posted by monocerosfg96 (as ),
My wife has a history of an aneurysm, which was clipped. After the clipping they then experienced a subsequent stroke.
My wife, the person that I care for, was admitted to ED Bunbury Regional Hospital recently after experiencing dizziness and nausea. The service at Bunbury Regional Hospital was excellent.
As part of the review, a CT scan was performed indicating that abnormalities were present suggesting that an aneurysm may be present.
We were referred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and the ED was advised to send referral to OP Neurosurgery clinic as the “CT finding does not explain the current presentation”
Given our history, the amount of concern expressed by my wife, as well as myself would have been, I thought, self evident.
We were discharged from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH), and it was only when I rang to find out what was going on that I was made aware that my wife had in fact been categorised as a CAT 2 and that an appointment would take place within the next two years (!)
As one would appreciate - from emergency, diagnosed aneurysm, referral to SCGH and then nothing!
We feel we were left in a state of limbo - effectively being given a diagnosis and referral with little information as to what was going to happen next. The fact that there was no correspondence is disappointing and the fact that it took a number of phone calls to SCGH to obtain any information exasperated the situation.
I was referred to the patient liaison service within SCGH - introducing a third party to the journey.
After talking to the patient liaison service I documented the issues and my concerns and restating the course of events.
Now one would think that if you had expressed a lack of understanding as to what was going on - someone would ‘enlighten’ you.
I also listed the issues as a result of this journey, which includes communication in an expedient manner.
The fact that there are concerns regarding the suggestion from Bunbury Hospital to SCGH ED to lodge a referral indicates that there are issues but there was no explanation of why my wife was classed as a CAT 2 -‘semi urgent’, lets face it, you need an explanation. One was not forthcoming.
It appears that there is an underlying assumption that individuals are conversant the terminology used in hospitals - that simply put is not the case. Given the fact that SCGH was made aware that my wife has a cognitive impairment it accentuates the assumptions made at hospital level in terms of information that is explained and presented in simple speak.
Instead the questions and concerns expressed were not addressed by the hospital in a letter sent a week later.
I subsequently rang the hospital very recently and talked to a staff member in the Department of Neurosurgery. I expressed my concerns regarding the fact that the issues raised in an email I sent to patient liaison (my understanding is that it was forwarded to the Dept of Neurosurgery) were not addressed.
Long story, short - I was then passed back to patient liaison - where, I was asked, once again, to document the issues - even though they were already documented?
Patient liaison indicated that we discuss this matter at my wife's next appointment .
It seems that there are a number of systemic issues regarding the process a patient and his/her carer are exposed to and the underlying assumptions that individuals have an understanding of that process.
The fact that you are bounced between departments does not help the matter in terms of obtaining clear, concise and intelligible information for both patients and their carers.
The introduction of a third party (Patient Liaison) simply extends what is already a problematic experience.