"Trying to book an appointment - my experience"

About: West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

(as the patient),

I needed to get a cyst in my gum looked at, which is now to me considered an emergency as my tooth under the cyst is loose. As a full time student I don't have money to get it removed so I called Toowoomba Based Hospital and they told me to call Ipswich because I don't live in the Toowoomba region. Thinking I would have to go to Ipswich (an hour away from where I live), I called the Gatton dental services instead that links with the West Moreton dental services about their service and how to book an appointment. The woman rudely answered my questions briefly and told me to call a number between 7-8am.

I called the number at 7:15am roughly, the call was to the West Morton dental services in Ipswich which I thought was odd and wondered why there isn't an appointment system in Gatton. I was put on hold for the whole time and got cut off at 10 to 8. I understand that they get a lot of calls but to get cut off like that really speaks out to me - as a first impression of the service - how they really care for their patients.

There should be a system where each dental clinic should have their own appointment system instead of calling Ipswich even though I want an appointment at the Gatton dental clinic.

There should be another system like an email or online system to book an appointment for yourself or a way to show the seriousness of your emergency to be prioritised. I feel like I'm going to lose this tooth any day now and it doesn't help that I clench and grind my teeth which is getting worse as now I'm stressing out about my tooth.

Staff should be trained to not be rude especially when a person wants to know more about their service.

It may be me being picky but it's not nice to patiently wait for service for half an hour and then automatically be cut off.

Even so, I am going to call again at 7am on the dot and hopefully sort something out. I don't have money for a private dentist and I can't afford to loose my tooth.

Responses

Response from Joy Wyatt, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton

Dear Unhappychappy

It is really disappointing that you had so much trouble contacting our dental clinic. We can only imagine how frustrating that would have been for you - particularly when you were in a lot of pain. We are very sorry that your call dropped out while you were waiting to get through on the emergency line, but you have taken the right approach to call back. FYI - The contact number for enquiries for Gatton Dental Clinic outside emergency enquiries is 3413 6700.

All emergency appointments for West Moreton dental clinics are scheduled by the West Moreton Oral Health Emergency Contact Centre. This allows appointments to be made, not only where it is most convenient for a patient, but the ability to appoint a patient to any facility that has an emergency appointment available. Administrative support for the majority of the Oral Health clinics is provided by the administrative hub which is based in Ipswich. This centralised system allows for a consistent approach to appointment booking across all our clinics, allows for the staff who are appropriately trained to handle patient enquiries and for patients to be appointed as soon as possible regardless of location. Please be assured your feedback regarding your personal experience has been taken seriously and it will be shared with staff so that they can learn from your experience.

West Moreton Oral Health are always looking for opportunities to improve the appointment system and hope that further improvements can be made in the near future to improve patient’s experience. Email or online appointment booking is not possible for emergency appointments as we are required to triage and assess a patients concerns and an appointment is then made based on need.

We apologize that your experience with the service did not meet your expectations, but hope that once you gain an appointment we are able to address your concerns.

Kind regards

Consumer Liaison Service

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

8/4/2016

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