THERE is something about the “vibe” at the Wonthaggi Hospital which just makes it work.
CEO Jan Child reflected on it at Bass Coast Health’s recent AGM and Board Chair Don Paproth also mentioned it when talking about the time he lost his wallet.
It was returned by a man and Mr Paproth offered money to the man’s wife but she refused.
“She said…‘If you find a wallet or a purse or a handbag, you hand it in. It’s what you do.’
“That’s the vibe,” Mr Paproth said.
Ms Child said Royal Children’s Hospital Dr Catherine Crock also has this “vibe”.
Dr Crock is known as a leader in person centred care on a local and national level.
“She’s embarked on this journey of coming to places like ours to help us develop our vision and talk about what true person centred care is.”
Dr Crock is known in the local area for her work as president of the Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association.
She’s grateful to the Wonthaggi Hospital because the staff have saved her life – not once, but twice.
One year she was brought to the hospital on Christmas Day with a pulse rate of 35 and on another day, she had an anaphylaxis attack from an insect bite.
A doctor at the Royal Children’s Hospital since 1994, Dr Crock has worked with patients and their families to ensure the hospital is a friendly and welcoming place.
“We were doing procedures on kids repeatedly without actually knowing how that was affecting the children and their families, and in fact the pain management was something that we really didn’t have under control.
“But guess what? Nobody was complaining, no families had ever said to us there was a problem and so back in 1998, I did something that was a little bit unusual and got me into a bit of trouble.”
She got a plate of sandwiches, sat down with a group of families and asked them to tell her about their journey when their child has a serious illness.
“What I learnt from those families was extraordinary and that was a life-changing thing for me.
“Here was all this information that the families knew that we as health professionals with the best of intentions didn’t actually know, we just didn’t see that part of it.”
She voiced patients’ and their parents’ concerns around pain management and within four days, it was sorted.
Dr Crock encouraged departments to talk to one another to ensure there’s better communication, and introduced a trial of asking patients to come in at staggered times.
Previously, all patients were asked to come in at 9am and they could be waiting all day for their surgery or appointment.
On another occasion, she introduced peaceful music, which relaxed patients and their families.
“The environment raises people’s anxiety levels; they’re already a fish out of water.
“I brought musicians and composers into the hospital to give us a more creative look of that environment because they are the experts of the sound environment.”
That was the start of Hush – a foundation which has specially composed music for operating theatres and waiting rooms.
“With this group of families, we made an enormous number of changes and things happened really quickly.
“It didn’t always make us friends; I think sometimes we had to challenge the status quo.”
It’s the inspiration from Dr Crock’s work that Bass Coast Health will take on-board when looking at redesigning the Wonthaggi Hospital.