"Poor day surgery treatment."

About: Bentley Hospital

(as a carer),

My parent attended Bentley hospital twice for cataract day surgery as a public patient, and had two very different experiences. The first time, the doctor's office who booked us in gave us a clear description for preparing for surgery and said we would receive confirmation from the hospital about the surgery day/time and how to prepare but it never came. I called the Day Surgery area of the hospital 2 days before and was told I would get a call back, but didn't and the same thing happened the day prior. I ended up having to talk to the head nurse the night before about timings etc and thankfully she was extremely helpful. On arriving I discovered the interpreter wasn't booked and no one made any effort to rectify the situation until I insisted repeatedly. The staff seemed very annoyed about us not arriving earlier even though we obeyed the nurse's instructions for what time we should come, and then we had to wait in limbo for another 2 hours without explanation. The orderly and unit staff were all lovely although disorganised, until an man in blue scrubs came to check the chart and made rude comments to me about why I needed an interpreter and looked very unimpressed. The interpreter came later and was quite good, however spent much time trying to convert my parent to their church and telling my parent about the healing there which could be used instead of surgery, which was clearly, highly inappropriate. The surgery otherwise went well and the orderly and nurse made sure to explain some after surgery care instructions.

For the second surgery I received a strange call from a very vague but polite staff person asking me to make an appointment for a 1 hour pre surgery discussion and didn't have the contact details already provided for my parent. I asked why a discussion was needed when it hadn't happened last time and she said it was standard procedure - when I explained it was a second surgery and I hadn't received any information whatsoever and didn't see the need now, she was polite but had to check about whether the call was actually needed. I said I didn't see the need and explained about the need for an interpreter and got a long winded explanation of not much information other than needing basic medical details which I explained had already been provided the first surgery and in the booking forms for the surgery. Apparently it had to happen. At least this time my parent could confirm the surgery time and what time they needed to arrive. Then upon arriving my parent was forced to take out their paperwork and regurgitate documented information 2 times at different stages to the receptionist before my parent could go to the surgery area. This time the interpreter was already present with the woman in bed next to my parent's bed (we presumed they were mother and daughter) but she was not wearing anything to identify her, did not introduce herself and made no effort to help my parent. She randomly started looking through my parent's file and discussing it with the nurse until I intervened to question why a strange woman could do this and it was only then she pulled out her ID. She barely interpreted anything the nurses or doctor explained, and certainly didn't give the details the staff needed her to interpret - she mumbled and was barely audible, and to be frank my own poor skills were better than hers. My parent wears hearing aids and I had to repeatedly remind the interpreter, especially after she had to remove them. We had a lovely student nurse who kept asking the same questions other staff were asking, so my stressed and tired parent was quite upset and and I had to intervene to stop the repeatedly unnecessary and duplicated questions (it was not the standard safety/ID checks, and quite often unrelated personal nosing about who I was). The interpreter barely said a word in the surgery even though my parent needed explanation and then disappeared without a trace afterward. There were no after care explanations, just an envelope of printed information in English which clearly my parent couldn't fully comprehend. The surgery itself was completely different in terms of the procedure. This time there was an anaesthetist needed but no one explained why or how this was different, and when I asked was told everything was the same. After surgery my parent's whites of their eyes went blood red and this petrified my parent - apparently no one had explained that something about their second surgery was more complicated than the first and had different risks, treatment and might result in more side effects. The doctor was quite dismissive and didn't explain any of this until my parent's emergency appointment due to the red eyes.

Responses

Response from Aresh Anwar, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group We are preparing to make a change

picture of Aresh Anwar

Dear EyeSurgery,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the Bentley Health Service Ophthalmology Department.

Firstly I would like to unreservedly apologise for what appears to have been a very disappointing experience for you and your parent. We aim to provide a service that is friendly, helpful, efficient and cultural and linguistically accessible to everyone. It is obvious that we did not meet many of these aspects on your two interactions with our service.

Your experience has highlighted some shortcomings within our service delivery at Bentley Hospital which are currently being addressed. There is a requirement for the hospital to contact patients 10 days prior to surgery and we are investigating why this did not occur.

While the theatre booking documentation clearly identifies a requirement for an interpreter, your parent’s initial consult did not have a need for an interpreter documented which is a failing of our admission process for which I sincerely apologise.

We do not condone staff or contractors promoting their own beliefs and insist that all staff or contractors display their health identification clearly at all times. We also employ or contract recognised translation services with a history of high quality service delivery and I will be speaking with the translation service provider and passing on your feedback.

With regard to your parent having to represent their paperwork – there is a policy requirement asking patients for three identifiers to ensure correct identification. We obviously failed to communicate the need for this and I have asked our staff in future to take a little more time and explain the reasons why we ask patients multiple times for their identifying documents.

We are currently working with staff to improve our discharge processes which we have identified as an area for improvement.

Once again, I thank you for taking the time to feedback and I will follow-up here with an update once I have spoken with the interpreter service and the review I have requested is complete. If you have any other concerns I encourage you to contact me directly via my office on 9224 2219.

Dr Aresh Anwar

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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