"Lack of communication from theatre staff"

About: Maroondah Hospital

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Maroondah Hospital at 11. 10am, following their no eating or drinking policy from 7am. I have to compliment the admissions staff, they made me feel comfortable from the minute I walked in. As soon as they had information they passed this onto me, so around 2pm they told me that my surgery was 'on hold' as an emergency had come in.

Sitting in the waiting room, I was getting even more anxious as I had no idea whether my surgery was going ahead as time was getting on.

At 4pm I was told by admissions staff that someone would be up to talk to me.

At 5pm this person finally showed up and told me my surgery was cancelled due to lack of beds. By this time I was really upset as I had gone for 10 hours without food or water and very little communication. I said to this person that surely this information was known a few hours prior to him finally coming up to tell me officially and that I should have been informed well before 5pm. He agreed but also said he had just found out and that he was in fact in another theatre. I said surely someone else could have come to tell me this information and I could have gone home a few hours earlier. He apologised and said it shouldn't have happened.

I realise that surgeries are cancelled from time to time, but I firmly believe after having been through this that it is the lack of communication between patients and staff at hospitals that patients become agitated and a bit aggressive especially when they are following the no eating/drinking policy.

It is unfair to the patient who is already anxious about having surgery in the first place. I am really upset that I wasn't given the courtesy of being informed in a more timely manner.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Unhappy customer

I have read your feedback with great concern and agree that on this occasion we have not treated you with due respect or consideration. As you have mentioned, there are times when surgery needs to be postponed due to the number of patients requiring emergency care. I appreciate that you have taken the time to acknowledge the admissions staff and how they treated you when you arrived.

I agree with you that we should have provided this information to you as soon as we could have so you could therefore make any necessary plans. I apologize again that we didn't seem to do this as well as we could have.

As you have mentioned, the area we receive most positive and negative feedback is in relation to communication. Based on feedback such as yours we have been focusing on staff exercising courtesy and kindness everywhere, everytime. It is very obvious from your feedback we have more work to do here.

I trust that next time you are booked for surgery you have a much better experience and if you have any further feedback, it will be gratefully received.

Kind regards

David

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Unhappy customer (the patient)

Thank you for your response and acknowledging that this shouldn't have been the case. I look forward to a more positive experience at my next visit, hopefully soon.

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