September 21, 2020

Great care appreciated at Broadmeadows

Two warm patient experience stories are coming from our Broadmeadows Hospital, where both patients and staff have been working hard to make the hospital experience and recovery as quick and pleasant as possible.

Elinor Fonovic was admitted to the Rehabilitation Ward on Unit 2 at Broadmeadows Hospital from Northern Hospital Epping 412 days ago, after being diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, a disease involving rapid onset muscle weakness.

Belinda Nash, Nurse Unit Manager, explained Elinor was not able to move her arms or legs when she was admitted and embarked on her rehab stay.

“It was through tenacity and hard work, on both Elinor’s and the rehabilitation multidisciplinary team’s efforts, which has resulted in Elinor being able to walk, use a telephone, and now follow others on Instagram who have recovered from the same disorder, and assist in her own activities of daily living (ADL’s). Whilst progressing with her physical rehabilitation, the rehab team have successfully gained a sizeable NDIS package and temporary accommodation for Elinor to begin a new chapter in her life with newfound independence in a safe environment and with the carers she needs. Congratulations to the rehab team on another complex and successful discharge,” she said.

Elinor speaks fondly of her memories of the first day when she arrived, meeting the admitting nurse, and is very grateful to the team and their assistance during her hospitalisation.

“I was at Northern Health for 14 months – it began to feel like home. I had many physio and OT treatments and the staff were incredibly supportive, especially my physio team. Everyone was friendly and professional. While I was there, I lost my father and the team was wonderfully supportive during my grief. I can’t talk highly enough about my physio team,” she said.

Belinda highlighted that Elinor’s stay proved to be rewarding for all staff working on the unit that have contributed to Elinor’s journey, through therapy to regain function.

“The team has been able to gain an insight to the challenges of NDIS and the functionality of this scheme that enables people to get back into the community. Furthermore, the team have honed their skills in accessing NDIS, which has meant they did succeed in a sizeable budget that enables Elinor to go to a serviced apartment with carers whilst her home is modified,” she said.


The second story also comes from Unit 2, where patient, Rita, stayed post a stroke. During her stay, she felt disconnected from family due to the current visiting policy, being in the ward since July. Although Rita could see her family via Facetime, she felt it’s not the same as personal visits.

Last week, she celebrated her birthday whilst on the unit and the team organised a ‘window visit’. The unit has a day room with a huge a glass door, and therapists and nurses have been using this to allow family to see their loved ones, and communicating via phone on either side and still maintaining COVID-19 safety.

Rita said this “improved her mood and can’t wait to go home and have another celebration”. She was lucky on that day that the speech therapist upgraded her meals to include cake as, due to her stroke, she had to have texture modified meals. It was a great birthday present!

Belinda added: “This form of virtual visiting helps bolster family and patients mood during COVID-19. Rita and her family were grateful for this visit on her birthday. Staff spirits are also elevated during these visits as they can provide some comfort to their patients who cannot receive visits currently and have not seen family for weeks”.

Rita celebrating her birthday

 Featured image: Elinor with Unit 2 staff and her care team at Broadmeadows Hospital