"Specialist Services in Karratha"

About: Nickol Bay Hospital

(as the patient),

A specialist at Nickol Bay Hospital, came across extremely arrogant, rude and dismissive.  I am not naming them in this article because it isn't appropriate.

I asked the doctor further questions about my treatment and they seemed dismissive, did not make eye contact and I felt that they was not interested.

I asked the specialist about why they wanted to do a particular intervention and what were the risks - the answer I got was, because we just like to have a look.  As an educated, professional, I felt like I was being dismissed, with the attitude appearing to be - what would I know?

When I woke up in recovery, the specialist came in, walked straight past me, sat down at a desk, wrote a few things, then walked out again - I called out to the doctor at the door and said, thank you doctor and the doctor jolly well didn't even turn around and acknowledge me. It felt like zero patient care!

I hear many others around town talking about the same doctor, and so I called the hospital to ask where I could provide some feedback, which has led me to this site.  I figure we can all make comment and gossip outside the hospital as much as we want, but the feedback needs to be written down so some action can be taken.

This is not a personal attack, but some formal feedback, with the following recommendations:

Dr (*) should consider their use of verbal and body language when talking to their patients - making eye contact and answering their questions with appropriate levels of detail would be appreciated.  The doctor can come across as dismissive.

If Dr (*) passes a patient who has just woken up in recovery, it would be common courtesy to come and speak to that patient, as opposed to ignoring them.  If someone speaks to the doctor, they should turn around to talk to them.

On the plus side, the rest of the doctors and nursing staff at Nickol Bay Hospital could not have been more wonderful.  They were attentive and considerate and I really felt safe and cared for in their hands.  I appreciate one of the nurses for holding my hand whilst I was sedated, a nurse in recovery for being so lovely, two nurses who looked after me on the ward, and my anaesthetist for taking care of the anaesthetic.  Thank you.

Responses

Response from Penny Curtis, Clinical Risk Manager, Patient Safety & Quality, WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Pilbara

Dear patientofNBH,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback on the poor customer service you received from a Doctor at Nickol Bay Hospital when making further inquiries about your treatment options and also after your procedure. Your feedback has been immediately forwarded on to the Acting Senior Medical Officer at Nickol Bay Hospital for sharing with medical staff. Thank you also for your suggestions on the importance of staff body language and replying to patient interactions.

To assist patients there is the Western Australian Public Patient’s Hospital Charter http://www.wacountry.health.wa.gov.au/index.php?id=453 This Charter sets out the importance of a patient being given information about your health care, which includes a clear explanation of any proposed treatment, including possible risk, alternatives and the option to seek a second opinion. I’m sorry that your experience at Nickol Bay Hospital with this one Dr was one of not being listened to and that you felt your questions were dismissed. There are also procedure specific information sheets which Drs can provide to assist in your decision making process http://inform.eidosystems.com/

I appreciate you have posted anonymously. Unfortunately it is not possible to know which Dr you were referring to, but if you would like further feedback on your treatment at Nickol Bay Hospital and individual feedback to be provided to the Dr that saw you, please feel free to contact Acting Operations Manager Damian Jolly in Karratha on (08) 9143 2441 or by email damian.jolly@health.wa.gov.au. Damian can arrange for clinical staff to investigate further and provide feedback individual to your situation. We would like to be able to provide your feedback and recommendations to the individual staff member and prevent this from happening to another patient in the future.

Thanks for the compliment about the rest of the Drs and nursing staff at Nickol Bay Hospital who assisted during your procedure and in recovery.

Kind regards,

Penny Curtis

Regional Clinical Risk Management Coordinator

Patient Safety and Quality Team - Pilbara

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