"An already stressful experience made even more stressful."

About: Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital / Day Procedure Unit (DPU - 1 West)

(as the patient),

I was asked to fast from midnight the night before my eye surgery. My admission was for 8 am and I hadn't eaten since 10 pm the evening before. I was taken to the hospital by community transport and when I left home I was feeling light headed and generally unwell. Once I was dropped off by community transport I had to walk a slight incline, to get to where I was going. I am elderly, have a cardiac problem and spinal issues. By the time I arrived to where I was going I was really out of puff. I introduced myself to a staff member behind the desk and she asked me to take a seat in the waiting area. By the time I took my rain jacket off and put my umbrella out of the way I was really out of puff. 

Then another staff member came over to me and asked me to come with her and we stood at desk and she started asking me all the questions they had asked me last time I had my other eye operated on. After about 10 minutes of standing there I was in pain because I have spinal canal stenosis and 4 slipped discs and still trying to get my breath. When I had my other eye operated on the nurse took me to a seat to ask me all the questions. 

I explained to the nurse that I was in pain and why and she just can't make people with disabilities stand for so long. She just said, I'm in training. Meanwhile the staff member who was at the desk when I arrived had walked away. The nurse in training, kept me standing there and asking more questions. By this time I was being called for theatre. I tried to tell the nurse in training again that I was in pain and needed to sit down and again she just said, I'm in training. A man came over to check on what was happening and I told him, I shouldn't be standing and why and he didn't do anything either. 

When the the nurse in training had finished asking all the questions, which took about 20 minutes, because I looked at my watch, a sister came and took me to another area. I also told her that it is not fair to make elderly people with disabilities stand for so long. The sister also seemed to take no notice of what I was saying. She then went through my notes to find what lens was used in my previous eye. She couldn't find it and called a colleague to have a look. By this time I was being called for theatre again. This was very distressing being in pain, feeling unwell, being called for theatre, as well as the confusion with the lens. I was then walked to theatre, where the anaesthetist was and was asked to hop up on the bed.

I would also like to add that I think the catering is up the creek. You never receive what you ordered. Plus if you order fruit, they send an orange with a plastic knife. My advice is that they cut the orange up for people before they bring it to them. I think the catering manager needs to get their ordering right. It seems that no matter what you order they have always run out of it. 

I thought the whole experience was just all a bit shabby. Nobody seemed to care when I told them that I was in pain and shouldn't be made to stand while answering all those questions. To me my operation was a big thing. I know it probably isn't for those who work there every day, but for me it was. I just hope that sharing my story will help to prevent this from happening to someone else. 

Responses

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

Dear Left standing

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience through Patient Opinion. I apologise for your recent experience in the Day Procedure Unit. It was disappointing to hear that your concerns were not responded to and your needs not met. The care you received does not meet the standard of care we expect for all our patients. Your story will be discussed with the staff in the Day Procedure Unit and the Catering Manager. Your feedback is very valuable and the staff will learn from your story. If would like to discuss further you can contact me on SESLHD-SSEHExecutiveServices@health.nsw.gov.au or phone 0293827495.

I hope you are recovering well at home

Kind regards

Jennie

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