"They made my eating disorder worse!"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

I was an eating disorder inpatient for 2 weeks at Box Hill Hospital earlier in the year. I have a basic understanding of psychology and was not impressed with the treatment. I sent an email with concerns, budget friendly suggestions and complements to staff (which was ignored 3 times over a span of a few months), here is a shortened list of complaints it contained: 

No psychological help:

Despite having a psychiatrist pop in to see me sometimes I believe I received absolutely no psychological care beyond being told I need to start with antidepressants (no further explanation and I also received no information on side effects, or contra-medications upon discharge). It actually postponed the starting of outpatient therapy. In my opinion, encouragement to eat was more posed as a threat. Eat or else (bolus, NG tube, loss of privacy privileges, continue to be bed bound, won't leave hospital).


I feel that my observations were taken incorrectly on countless occasions which meant my charts showed inconsistencies in recovery. I believe there was inconsistency with following rules and what rules existed (they either forgot to enforce some or made some up). Some would constantly remind me how long I had left to eat (I never sat there just staring at the food) as if I was being a burden on their work day.  A nurse decided to leave the room while I was eating and then took me by surprise by spontaneously patting me down, checking in my bed and personal belongings for food she believed I had hidden. 


Meals were significantly late or forgotten. Hot meals arrived cold, sauces with skin and congealed, ice-cream melted, cheese room temperature and sweated inside the package, stale bread, beans so dry they *clink* when dropped on the plate. Food is generally unappetising. Wrong meal plan was given and I was served 1 of my 3 dislikes and told I still had to consume it (despite the rules stating something different).


Lights on, pings, loud social conversations and giggles by nurses at night. Impossible to sleep.  Placed with faecal incontinent patients. I got in trouble for sitting outside my room when the smell was unbearable causing extreme nausea. 

I left hospital with worsened anxiety, developing symptoms of major depressive disorder and a worse relationship with food.


Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear foxtrotpj48

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your experience earlier this year. I would like to apologise it was not a positive one.

In your post you mentioned you have made comments, compliments and suggestions previously which were ignored. I'm sorry this has been the case and whilst you have included some points in this post, I would invite you to make contact directly with me so I can ascertain what has happened here. Please email me privately at david.plunkett@easternhealth.org.au and either I or one of the team will come back to you.

I hope to hear from you soon and hope you are doing well.

Kind regards


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