"They make us feel like we are not important mum"

About: Box Hill Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a carer),

My pre-teen child was sent to the ED at Box Hill Hospital by our GP who thought they were having a TIA. My child cried walking all the way up the hospital ramp because they, understandably, were so scared about what was possibly happening to them.

After the triage, that was most unpleasant by the way, we were asked to move to the window next door to provide our details (medicare etc). The staff showed no respect for us. While the staff member was collecting the details they were joking with another staff member about a cold coffee they were drinking. They stopped after typing in one word or another to chat with their colleague who was standing beside them. They giggled and talked about their private businesses. When we left the triage area and sat down to wait our turn, this was my child's comment: "They make us feel like we are not important mum". As I said my child is pre-teen, I had no words for them. Just nodded in agreement. Honestly, I thought it was a humiliating experience. However, I know this is not a general rule. I know that Box Hill Hospital/ Eastern Health also provides outstanding health services and employs people who are not only great professionals but also great human beings. People who respect and genuinely care about other people.

I appreciate the opportunity to provide this feedback and I trust this helps to improve services but, most importantly, that each employee and staff at Box Hill Hospital, regardless of his/her role, is truly committed to the hospital values.

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Responses

Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear xxxxxxxxx

Thank you for sharing your story with us on Patient Opinion and please let me offer you my sincere apologies for the experience you had with us in Triage at the Emergency Department.

Your story is not good and when you have to bring your child to our Emergency Department, the last thing you need is to feel unwelcome or treated without due attention to your needs and care at that time. To feel humiliated is totally unacceptable and I want you to know that I will take this matter up with both the manager of the Emergency Department and also with the senior management team at Box Hill Hospital.

I am confident in saying that our staff will also be concerned that you experienced our frontline service like this but timely feedback like yours is very effective in assisting us in identifying what we can do to improve and prevent a recurrence. Like we all do, our Emergency Department staff strive to do their best every day but as I also always say, we also need to get it right, every time and therein lies the challenge. We do indeed have many great staff. In our Emergency Departments across Eastern Health, we see one new patient arrive every 3.5 minutes and this can put a lot of pressure on the system and so we also have to be careful not to let our standards slip. Again, I am sorry that we fell short on this occasion.

I also appreciate your very balanced comments with regard to providing feedback and it's so true that feedback can both reinforce when we do things well but also, help guide us on where we need to improve. Your feedback has done just that so thank you again for taking the time.

I do hope that your child is now doing well and if I can be of any further help, please let me know.

Kind regards, Alan Lilly

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Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear xxxxxxxxx

By way of an update, I just wanted to let you know that I have since been in touch with Sonya Moran (ED Manager) and she has confirmed that she will be raising this issue in her next meetings with both clinical and clerical staff. She also commented that feeling unwelcome was unacceptable and will also be reminding staff that there should be no eating or drinking at the Triage reception desks.

Sonya also confirmed that she would be reiterating this both in staff meetings and in her written communication with staff.

Again, thank you for sharing your story to make a difference.

Kind regards, Alan Lilly

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