"Experience as a neurology in-patient"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

Nursing staff individually are mostly great with one alarming exception. Good contacts with Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy staff, who were willing to talk, but limited in their ability to deal with my questions and concerns about medical issues.

My big problem is with the doctors. I'm quite confident they are technically very competent. But there was no face-to-face communication from medical staff about my symptoms, condition, medications and options. Daily rounds seemed to consist of doctors travelling in large groups for mutual protection, led by an oracle, followed by nodding acolytes. 

They seemed very focused on technical scores: He's two over two or five out of ten, and protocols that determined the next step in treatment. I never had an individual doctor come and hold my hand, answer my questions, and explain what was happening. I felt absolutely like a lump of meat being processed through a very modern, complicated and highly automated factory

My Australian hospitalisation followed shortly after a three week period of hospitalisation in the cardiac care ward of a large Asian university teaching hospital. There, the standards of medical technology, I felt was probably five years or so behind the hospital I'm in in Australia. But the contrast in availability of access to medical staff and their attitudes and willingness to communicate was stark. There, the doctors all talked to each other, I had a cardiologist, a neurologist and an internal medicine specialist involved in my care, and they were prepared to interact with me and answer my questions. I always had access to the young interns treating me, their supervising registrars, and the unit director. It's probably unfortunate that my travel insurance company forced my medical repatriation back to Australia. In retrospect, I think I was receiving better care under that system than in the Australian system to which I returned.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Submergency

Thank you for taking the time to share feedback on your experience on Patient Opinion. You have made very salient comparisons between your experienced in an Asian and Australian hospital that goes to the heart of patient care.

At Eastern Health we have values of Patients First, Kindness, Respect, Excellence, Agility and Humility. Based on your experience we have a way to go to have these values experienced by every person every time. I was pleased to read this was not the case for some staff, so thank you for your balanced comments.

I will share your experience with the leaders of this service so they can use it as a learning experience for the whole to team and reflect on what is going well and where improvements are possible.

I trust you are recovering from the condition that took you to seek care and treatment in the first instance and are returning to better health.

Kind regards and many thanks again

David

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story

;