"Customer service"

About: Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital

(as a carer),

I called the number found on the website for Sydney Eye Hospital (9382 7111). I wanted some general information about how to make an urgent appointment for my partner. A very abrupt and rude employee answered and repeatedly spoke over me as if my questions were ridiculous even though I barely got the chance to ask them. She made me feel very frustrated and stupid on top of the worry I already have for my partner who is very rapidly losing vision. I simply tried to ask how long the possible wait would be and the process to make an appointment because if it was several months I would have to take my partner to emergency and didn't get to finish my sentence about my partner's rapidly declining in sight the last week. I felt the employee was rude and started speaking over me about how emergency is only for life threatening immediate treatment. I have worked at 3 major public hospitals over the past 6 years and am well aware of exactly what emergency medicine covers. I would also be horrified if any of my colleagues spoke so arrogantly and condescendingly to any of the patients who were simply asking a question. I would highly recommend this staff member attend one of the customer service courses I know are accessible to hospital staff so that no one else is ever made to feel as stupid and belittled as she made me feel. I hope the rest of the staff are more willing to listen to their patients and family as it is hard enough trying to struggle with the emotions involved with their illness without having someone else's bad attitude add further negativity to the experience!

Responses

Response from Jennie Barry, General Manager, Prince of Wales/Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital

Dear Frustrated family member,

Firstly I would like to sincerely apologise for the manner in which you were spoken to and that you were left feeling stupid and belittled. This type of communication is not in line with our core values and not a message that we would like to send out to our patients.

In relation to your partners deteriorating vision, it is hoped that you have managed to get an appointment or sought treatment in the Emergency Department. If you are still concerned about your partners vision we encourage you to attend the Sydney/ Sydney Eye Hospital Emergency Department.

We thank you for taking the time to post your experience on patient opinion and would be happy to hear from you further. Your feedback will be discussed with the department manager to allow us to learn and improve our communication. We can be contacted on SESLHD-SSEHExecutiveServices@health.nsw.gov.au

Regards,

Jennie

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