Month: December 2017

Perth Children’s Hospital Parking

The planned new subsidy scheme for Perth Children’s Hospital is the subject of this ABC news article which reveals that there will no longer be free parking for any families, and that the new rebate scheme, which may support more families, will cost $5 per day. Those who are not eligible for the rebate will pay $21.30 per day

We asked you to complete a survey about parking, and more than a 100 of you responded. The first question we asked is “What do you think?” and received an overwhelming response that this was not OK. The full ten pages of comments are here. This is what you said, in a nutshell:

  • Parents of sick children are already under stress. They shouldn’t have to worry about parking too
  • Parking shouldn’t have been privatised in the first place
  • There should be a CAT bus which goes past the Perth Children’s Hospital

 

We also asked you what you thought could be done, and received seven pages of comments you can read here.

And we were reminded that NSW drastically cut the cost of hospital parking after a petition was started by a young patient, and so did Queensland and it was only just over a year ago that WA’s Nathan Garcia protested his mother Monique Garcia’s parking fine of $1,000 which prompted a national petition, now closed, for free hospital parking. It is a big nut to crack, hospital parking, as there are complications such as free parking being mis-used by people not attending the hospital (which obviously can be overcome by ticketing technology), and considerations of how the cost of maintaining the car park will be met (e.g. in loss of clinical services) and so on. But it is a conversation we need to keep having.

Next steps

  • We will contact those of you who said you would like to keep in touch with us about this issue.
  • The CAT bus is an idea worth pursuing and HCC will follow this up.
  • Other options such as corporate partnerships to cover the cost also need to be explored. We will keep you posted…

Life with a chronic health condition – what is the consumer experience?

For six months of 2017, HCC has worked with the WA Primary Health Alliance and Curtin University on a project to explore consumers’ experience of chronic disease and what kind of care they are seeking from the GP and community based services.

People living with chronic health conditions and a range of community-based health service providers came together at a forum on Friday 1st December 2017 to hear the outcomes of a focus group study conducted by Curtin University and Health Consumers’ Council in 2017.

The aim of the study was to better understand the current system of GP management of long term conditions, from the perspective of consumers. This information will be used as part of an overhaul of the primary care system being conducted by the WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) in conjunction with GPs.

Forty six consumers were involved in the focus groups which met in Wanneroo, Midland, Armadale, Rockingham, Bunbury and Albany. They represented a range of ages, backgrounds and health conditions but agreed on many key points:

  • Consumers want a long term relationship with a GP who is a good listener and will work with them in partnership
  • Bulk billing and reduced up-front costs to care helps consumers to get the care they need
  • Chronic condition care plans are not well promoted and don’t deliver enough care – especially to people who have more than one conditions
  • There is a role for specialist “care coordinators” to support better management of different services
  • People with chronic health conditions should be treated differently within the GP system to people who only require occasional GP contact

The full report from the focus group study is available from the WAPHA website http://www.wapha.org.au/community/engagement/ or you can view the summary of both the provider and consumer consultations here.

Kate Bullow, Project Co-ordinator.

Staying Safe at Home – Patient’s Own Medicines

This is a guest blog from researcher Brock Delfonte.

Managing your medicines at home can be complicated. It is important for your health that you always take the right medicines at the right time and know why you take each one. It is also just as complicated managing your medicines when you are admitted to hospital. Keeping track of all your medicines is vital but can be difficult as there are a number of different names, types and forms that medicines can come in, including:

· tablets, capsules and liquids
· patches, creams and ointments
· drops and sprays for eyes, nose, ears and mouth
· inhalers and puffers
· injections and implants
· pessaries and suppositories.

Most medicines are usually prescribed or provided by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Herbal, complementary or “over-the-counter” products like vitamins, nutritional supplements, and natural remedies are also considered medicines, as is anything you may obtain at supermarkets, health food stores or over the Internet.

Bringing in your medicines to hospital is one way you can help hospital staff get your medicines right. Bringing all of your medicines, including anything you keep in places like the fridge or by the bedside, lets hospital staff know what you’re taking and makes sure that you will be able to continue taking them if needed. There are a number of other benefits from bringing in your own medicines to hospital:

· Hospital staff can use some of the information found on the medicine labels to help them, including the details of any doctors or nurses who prescribed medicines for you and the pharmacies they came from
· Having the medicines with you can help you remember exactly how you take them, and help you remember any other medicines you may take
· Having your medicines with you can allow hospital staff to better help you should any of your usual medicines change in any way or are stopped during your hospital stay.

Remember to store your medicines correctly at home, and have them easy to access should you or your family or carers need to collect them to bring in to hospital. Bringing in all your medicines to hospital each time and wherever possible helps hospital staff provide you with the best quality care they can.

Brock Delfante MSHP
BCom BSc MPharm PhD (c)