Compliment of the week – 24 July 2020

Every single staff member at Western Health – either directly or indirectly, whether clinical staff, non-clinical staff or volunteer - makes a contribution every day to supporting the provision of Best Care and the best experience for our patients. Compliments are real examples of our staff providing Best Care. Through our 'compliment of the week' we acknowledge staff who successfully translate our Vision of delivering Best Care into day-to-day behaviours.


Our vision of Best Care is to provide person-centred, co-ordinated, right and safe care for every patient, every time, everywhere.  Delivering Best Care within the complexity of our health system is not always easy.  We would like to recognise the provision of Best Care by Western Health staff working in home therapies, Dialysis and the Nephrology Unit.  We share this note of appreciation provided by Victoria relating to the care of her partner, Alan.

Hi Deb,

When I was having dinner last week with my brother, a doctor, and my sister-in-law, a psychologist, they both told me how well they thought Alan was doing with the dialysis. I told them that I thought that was mostly because of the care that he had received from you and your team. It was really frightening to be faced with dialysis and I feared that he would plummet back into the depths of despair. Our experience of dealing with his renal failure had meant working with a range of medical professionals over a period of 5 years. It was scary, disconnected and depersonalised. Contacting his specialists was always a difficult process.

I still remember the day we first came to you and you told us that we were yours now and you would take care of us. I didn’t believe you. But I was wrong. You were amazing. Everyone on your team made a point of introducing themselves to us and they always pop in and say hello when we are there, even if they are not actually treating Alan. This meant that when we needed to phone for support that there was always a familiar person on the other end of the line. This was especially comforting in the middle of the night when the machine was doing scary stuff and we had no idea what to do. Most importantly, there is always someone there to call on for help when you need it and that someone is always supportive and helpful and non-judgemental.

When he had the surgery for the Tenkoff, he had visits from members of your team checking on how he was doing and actually this has happened each time he has been admitted to the hospital. I remember when Alan was recovering from his surgery and he was telling you how much pain he was in, that you were the one who actually listened to him and told him it wasn’t normal and organised the follow through, including some home visits to help us get bags of fluid into him for later drainage and testing. When he told his surgeon, of his pain he was told he should expect that with a tube in him and the alternative was to take it out, as if he was whinging about nothing! It was found that he had his first case of peritonitis and ended up spending a week in hospital. During this time we were in and out of Home Therapies doing a crash course in how to manage the dialysis so that he could continue his course of antibiotics at home. He doesn’t learn technology quickly or easily, (funnily enough, the plumbing aspect was the easier part for him) but everyone was patient and kind and made it seem like it wasn’t such a big deal.

Alan hates going to hospital and last time he had an infection, he thought he could nip it in the bud by going to our GP. When our GP informed you guys, you took up the banner and brought him in and very diplomatically told him that he mustn’t do that, that he must come to you as soon as possible. You worked late that night to get him sorted on treatment so that he didn’t have to go into the hospital. It was his own fault that he landed on you late in the day, but you decided to go above and beyond for him. Now he’s more vigilant and I know he will go straight to you guys.

Anyway, as I was telling all this to my brother, I thought that I really should be telling you guys too, how much we value what you do for us.

Thank you so much, Deb, Sarah, June, Ranuka and Billie, for the care that you have given us as we navigate this difficult path.