"Excellent services at Goodna Community Health Plaza let down by receptionist."

About: Goodna Community Health Centre

(as a parent/guardian),

On our first official appointment at Goodna Community Health Plaza, Qld, we were told to meet our therapist in the exact same place where we had my child’s initial assessment done. We walked through the doors and sat outside the exact room where we had the initial assessment done. We were on time for our appointment.

In the meantime my baby started crying for a feed and I fed my baby while my other child was entertaining themselves. We were the only people in the front of the building. Eventually after waiting for half an hour, I went up to the booth, which turned out to be the reception. There was no signage as one entered the building that indicated where the reception was and that one had to report to the reception.

When I asked the receptionist whether our appointment was running late, she was quite short with me and told me that I should have reported to reception on my arrival. I told her that I was instructed by the therapist to meet outside the therapy room.

The receptionist told me that they were incredibly busy and that they have many therapists who are working at their centre and that I have to announce my arrival. This irritated me immensely as we were the ONLY patients in the front of the building. My child was running up and down past her booth, and my baby was screaming for a feed, surely she should have heard and seen us. It would have been lovely if she could have just gotten up off her chair and enquired whether we needed her help, as this was our first official appointment at the centre. (She did not look busy and there was no one else in any of the 3 allocated waiting rooms!).

A few months on and we now know the modus operandi. Today we again reported to reception with our Medicare card and told the receptionist that our details are still all the same. I told her that we were just quickly going to go to the toilet, as we were 5 minutes early for our appointment.

We came out of the toilet and waited for 30 minutes directly in front of the receptionist's booth, until the therapist came out to meet with us. She apologized for being late, but told us that the receptionist had never phoned her to inform her that we were in the waiting room. Both our time and the therapist's time were wasted.

There has also been another occasion where I was asked to take an appointment sheet to the receptionist after a session with 3 future-dated appointment dates on it. I felt the receptionist saw that it was 3 appointment dates that she would have to enter into the system and said that it was too much work for her to do at that moment, so she photocopied the sheet instead and said that she would enter the dates onto her system at a later occasion.

Surely expert, efficient, friendly and professional therapists deserve to have a receptionist represent them that is of the same calibre. I believe this receptionist is an awful misrepresentation of the excellent services which this institution offers.

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Responses

Response from Sandy Lewis, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton

Dear Lets be honest

While we are pleased that you have found our therapist to be professional, friendly and efficient, it is disappointing to hear that your experience with our support staff member did not live up to our expectations of patient-centred care.

We want to assure you your feedback has been taken seriously and it will be shared with staff so that they can learn from your experience and our service can be improved.

At West Moreton we are committed to ongoing staff training and development in all aspects of care, including customer service. The training clearly defines our expectations of staff regarding the way that they interact with our patients and families.

Training sessions for all administration staff regarding the provision of efficient, professional and friendly customer service are being provided.

We really appreciate you taking the time to share your story and providing us with an opportunity to improve our services. If you would like to speak with someone further about your concerns, a Senior Consumer Liaison Officer would be happy to assist and they can be contacted on 3810 1111.

Best wishes

Consumer Liaison Service

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

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