"My child's cancelled surgery"

About: Angliss Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

Before I begin, I wish to make it clear: If my infant child’s surgery had been cancelled for an emergency or staff illness, there would not be an issue.

We received a letter recently stating that my child had been booked in for surgery at the Angliss Hospital for a few days ago and that we were to arrive early in the morning.

The day before the surgery date, I received a phone call around mid-afternoon from the Surgical Booking Clerk at the Angliss Hospital stating my infant child’s surgery has been cancelled for the following day. The reason given was that the Angliss was unable to accommodate paediatric patients overnight in my child's age group. The clerk advised the nurse would ring me back the next day to let me know what was happening.

I was so taken aback by the first phone call, that I decided to ring back to clarify what had happened. I spoke to the clerk again and asked why the surgery has been cancelled. Unfortunately, the clerk chose to be patronising in my opinion and went on to say quote, remember I told you a nurse will call you tomorrow REMEMBER. I then asked why my child was booked in at the Angliss in the first place if they are unable to accommodate them. The clerk continued to repeat a nurse will ring me the next day and called me darl. No further contact occurred that day.

The day the surgery was originally scheduled for, I chose to ring the private rooms of the surgeon myself for an explanation. The receptionist was very helpful and beyond understanding of the anxiety my spouse and I were experiencing. They said they would follow up with the surgeon as soon as possible to get us some answers.

Later that day, I finally received a call from the Surgical Liaison Nurse at the Angliss. who advised again that the Angliss could not accommodate our child. The nurse advised the surgeon had been in touch with the Angliss and would treat our child at another hospital instead.

Clearly, the fact that this is a booking error and was only picked up less than 17 hours before my child was due to be admitted is, I feel, completely unacceptable.

The conversations we have had with the hospital staff have been very disappointing as no one has taken responsibility for the error. In my opinion, it has come across as though there isn't even a problem or issue. Surely staff are qualified to understand surgeries well enough to correctly book them in. They must have known the Angliss doesn’t have accommodation for paediatrics, and that our child should have been booked into a different site.

Due to this incompetency, my infant child must now continue to wait for their surgery to be done.

On posters spread throughout the hospital, it states that there is a commitment to holding up the following values: Patients first, Kindness, Respect, Excellence, Agility and Humility.

I question every single one of these values after what my family and I have experienced recently.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear normagf97,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us on Patient Opinion. I would like to say how sorry I am this was your experience and that you and your child are left with feeling this way both about the staff and service at The Angliss Hospital and Eastern Health more broadly.

I would like the opportunity to review your experience in a lot more depth. In order for us to follow up on your particular circumstances, I would like to invite you to contact one of our Patient Relations Advisors in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience either by calling 1800 EASTERN or by emailing feedback@easternhealth.org.au. If you choose to call please be aware that it is possible that the Patient Relations Advisors may be on another call at the time you ring and if so you will be invited to leave a message so they can return your call.

I hope we hear from you soon and my apologies again.

Kind regards

David

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