"A partially thawed sandwich was all I was given after surgery at Nepean Private Hospital. "

About: Nepean Private Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

1. A number of nurses I saw ate chocolate in front of me, as a patient fasted for a minimum if 18 hours, on the day of my surgical procedure.

2. The hospital booking clerk I spoke to confirmed to me that my request for female theatre staff was successful before my procedure. However, the pre-admission nurse I saw told me that I did not have 'such a luxury'

3. My procedure was postponed for 2 hours. When I got out of theatre at 7. 30pm I was offered a partially thawed sandwich. Ice was still stuck to the tomato inside the sandwich.

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Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia We have made a change

Dear NotHappyJan

Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us about the problems you had during your Day Surgery admission.

1. It is never acceptable for staff to eat or drink in front of fasting patients. We are very sorry that you had to experience this. Your experience has been discussed with the staff in our Day Surgery Unit, and they have been reminded of how it would feel for a fasting patient to have to watch staff eat. This unfortunate episode will also be used as an example in our staff training - of what *not* to do.

2. We agree that the comment you received from the pre-admission nurse was quite rude, and we would like to apologise for this poor example of customer service. Wherever possible we do organise our theatre so that patient requests are accommodated. All requests should be taken seriously, and the staff member's comment was inappropriate. We understand that this would have been an upsetting experience for you. The manager of the Admissions area is aware of your complaint, and some further customer service training has been planned for this area as a result.

3. We are sorry you were served an inedible sandwich - especially so as you would have been looking forward to finally having something to eat after your procedure. It seems like the sandwich was over-refrigerated in one of the fridges, either in the kitchen or the Day Surgery unit. Staff are double- checking the fridge temperatures (which are checked daily) to make sure they are set correctly. After talking with our catering staff we have discovered that some fridges in ward areas really are too small. They include a small freezer and when sandwiches are placed on top of the element, they may be frozen. The fridge-size will be further investigated, with a view to an upgrade. In the meantime, catering staff have been asked to be aware of this problem when stocking the fridges.

Once again, please accept our apologies for your unpleasant experience at our hospital. If you would like to discuss it further, we would be happy to hear from you. You can contact Carol Moore, National Manager Patient Centred Care on 08 8375 5208 (she will call you back so you don't have to pay for the call) or email carol.moore@healthscope.com.au.

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