"My experience at the Sydney Hand Clinic"

About: Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital / 2 West & Hand Clinic

(as the patient),

Late last year I attended the Hand Clinic to get some advice regarding surgery to alleviate the pain in my right wrist.

I took with me, Xrays and ultra sound images and a report from a Sports Medicine Clinic. I also advised the Hand Clinic doctor that I had been given a cortisone injection at the centre by a doctor, to reduce the swelling and the pain.

The doctor at the Hand Clinic at that time, advised me that they would copy the images and the report to their system and that if in the future the wrist became swollen and painful, to simply book into the Hand Clinic and they would administer another injection of cortisone.

I made an appointment, arrived early and logged in at reception. I did not get admitted until an hour and a half later and a doctor did not come past my cubicle for another 20 minutes.

The doctor looked up my records on the Hand Clinic site and could find none of my past Xrays or ultra sound images or reports stored. They had not been scanned as the previous doctor had told me.

The doctor then advised me that they did not give the injections unless they were done with the ultra sound operation and that I would be best to go back to the previous Sports Centre and have this done there, but for now to wait until they checked with the doctor in charge regarding this.

The doctor then left me, went to attend to two other patients and came back to advise me that they were still waiting for this advice from their superior.

At this stage, I told the doctor I could not afford to wait any longer. I said I would get the referral from my own GP and go back to the Sports Centre for the treatment.

I was extremely disappointed and angry at being left waiting (other people after me were admitted before me also) and told the doctor I was not happy. I had given up an entire half a day of my work on medical leave for nothing. No results whatsoever and on top of this there was a very cursory apology for the delay, which I did not accept.

Responses

Response from Pauline Rumma, Director, Clinical Services, Sydney and Sydney Eye Hospital

Dear Tobyboy

Thank you very much for providing us with such valuable insight into your experience in the Hand Clinic. Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital strives to ensure every patient is given the best care possible and has a positive experience within our health service. This is why we value your feedback. We are committed to providing feedback to the team that was directly involved to the patient's care and will ensure your experience is relayed to the Hand Unit team. To facilitate this feedback it would be helpful to know more of your story. Please feel free to contact us to discuss at SESLHD-SSEHMedicalAdmin@health.nsw.gov.au. However, if you wish to remain anonymous, I completely understand and respect that decision. If this is the case I will have general discussions with the Hand Unit staff about your experience.

I am very sorry your experience here left you feeling extremely disappointed and angry. Once again, I am sorry that you have had this experience with our service and I would like you to know that hearing stories such as yours is actually really helpful in terms of highlighting where we need to improve.

Regards

Dr Rumma

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