"Appointment with Orthopaedic Doctor to check on broken wrist"

About: Maroondah Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter broke her wrist and had to have a plate and pins inserted. We had two separate follow up appointments with orthodpaedic surgeons.

As we live in a rural area, we need to travel for nearly two hours to get to the hospital for the first appointment.

It was very difficult finding a parking spot for the car and we also had to wait nearly two hours over the appointment time to see the surgeon. I had thought that this was a one off - one of those days!

We had a second appointment to have the plaster removed and xrays, followed by an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon. As we live some distance away, I had organised a dental appointment and had a list of errands to do whilst we were "down the line". However, when we arrived for the second appointment some weeks later, the same thing happened.

It was very poor and extremely frustrating that we AGAIN had to wait nearly two hours, and it was only because another doctor picked us up as an appointment because he saw that we had been waiting most of the morning that we managed to see someone after just under two hours wait. I had to cancel the "hard to get" dentist appointment and now have to arrange for another sick day to once again travel "down the line". What a waste of time! ! !

The service was extremely poor.

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Responses

Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Mariam

Many thanks for sharing your story on Patient Opinion and alerting us to issues around your experience in the Outpatient Department. I realise that this is most frustrating and disrespectful of your time and other commitments. I am very sorry that you have been inconvenienced in this way. Whilst I know it won't help you retrospectively, I am pleased to report that improvement plans are well and truly under way. Following a major improvement project, there are many planned changes to Outpatient Services which include a much more tailored and personalised response including individual appointment times. I know this change can't come quickly enough for many of our patients and I have no doubt that it will be well received.

However, this is a change not just of process itself but also about the IT to support these changes and automate much of what is manual work for around 200 000 appointments per year.

So, whilst we are not there right now, I am confident that this will improve. In the meantime, I will make the Outpatient Department staff aware of your feedback and ask them to make sure that patients are being kept informed of progress with their scheduled appointments whilst they are waiting.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your story, your feedback really does help us keep very focused on what we need to do.

Kind regards, Alan Lilly.

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