"Confidentiality and Nurses Working Conditions"

About: Royal Perth Hospital / Short Stay Surgical Unit Ward 4A & Day Surgery Unit Ward 4B/4G

(as the patient),

I had a recent day surgical visit to Royal Perth Hospital, the level of knowledge and expertise I was treated with was exemplary and I would return to the hospital on the basis of this.  The admissions process however concerned me. On admission, myself and eight others were placed in chairs around the outside of a four bed ward, partners were offered no seating and so were standing seemingly leaving patients in the chairs overlooked.  The nurses had to squeeze around 2 beds in the centre of the room, the partners and the equipment - I believe this poses an accident waiting to happen. The nurses also had to kneel on the floor to perform some duties, I feel this poses an infection risk, kneeling on the floor where people have walked in their outside footwear, then leaning over people in beds in the same clothing.  I felt compassion for the nurses having to work in these conditions, they did so without complaint.

Each patient was taken through the admission process, having to state, personal details and what procedure they were in for. It appeared there was no way for the nurses to allow confidentiality in this process. This shocked me and I felt that there is a lack of respect for people’s personal journey. Not everyone wishes for their medical details to be shared with the other 14 people the room.

As I said, the admission nurse's care was good and everything after the admission process was carried out in a professional manner.  I just felt that too many people are squeezed in a small area with the admissions process. There was an empty waiting area on the way in, perhaps it would be better to seat patients in there and take them to the beds as they are required. This would free up room, improve the nurses working conditions and the confidentiality of the patients.

Responses

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

picture of Aresh Anwar

Dear Squeezed in,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at Royal Perth Hospital. I was in fact approached by the A/Nurse Manager of the Day Surgery Unit (DSU) Janelle who was really upset having read your feedback. You will see from her response below that the whole team have embraced your comments and are keen to make the experience better for patients and are trialling a new way of working.

Janelles feedback was:

“In the last 12 months the DSU has changed its configuration and patient flow through the unit three times. The most recent change only taking place at the end of January. From your feedback – we clearly still do not have it right! We have spaces that we are not utilising to our full capacity in an initial effort to not ‘split’ the nursing staff across the two RPH blocks (one being close to theatre, but across a bridge to the other block).

We held a staff meeting last week and further discussed our patient’s flow and journey through our unit. As of Monday (26 February 2018) we are trialling another plan in an effort to not only help the flow; but address the privacy concerns and the admission practices of the nursing staff.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience. Your feedback is invaluable in recognising our shortfalls and we will endeavour to optimise the space we have and make our changes to improve our patients’ experiences and the conditions for our staff.”

Once again thank you for telling us about your recent experience, and we apologise for how it left you feeling. Best wishes for your recovery.

Kind regards

Dr Aresh Anwar

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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