"Lengthy treatment time and lack of communication"

About: The Townsville Hospital

(as the patient),

I was referred to Townsville hospital for both Left and Right Rotator Cuff/shoulder issues in late 2010.

I had several follow ups, x-rays, and finally MRI's before having my right shoulder attended to in late 2013.

Since then I have had a yellow confirmation slip asking if I still needed surgery.

From that date until today I have had no other communication with the hospital, until I called them and was transferred from surgical bookings to "clinics" where the phone just rang out to then go to voicemail and no return call.

I'm pretty over the lack if communication and follow-up that happens there. (Letter asking if I still needed to see them regarding shoulder - records and imaging would answer that quickly).

Very annoyed! ! !

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Responses

Response from Karina Finch, Nursing Director Patient Services, Townsville Hospital & Health Service

Dear Painfully Slow

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I am really sorry to read about your experience with our health service, and apologise that our communication and follow-up has been inadequate. You have certainly highlighted a number of areas that we need to consider improving.

We would appreciate an opportunity to discuss your experience in more detail so that we can investigate the issues you have raised and provide assistance to resolve your concerns. I encourage you to contact staff in our Patient Liaison Service directly at your convenience to discuss your concerns further. They will be happy to follow up with the relevant areas for you. Staff in Patient Liaison Service can be contacted on 4433 1074.

Your feedback is very helpful, as information from our patients helps us to understand where improvements can be made. So I thank you again for your feedback.

We look forward to being able to assist you to resolve this matter.

With kind regards

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Update posted by Painfully Slow (the patient)

I was just contacted from the Surgical Outpatient Dept. of the Townsville Hospital, wanting to see me regarding my shoulder (LH).

They now want to start over, and have scans, and MRI's again, as they have no prior records for me on my previous visits to the hospital for my shoulders. I had both checked by orthopaedic surgeon at the same time, both x-rayed, both MRI'd, but alas no prior history on record - the whole situation is a joke, unfortunately and I'm disappointed with the whole 5+ year affair in waiting.

I have also called Townsville Hospitals Patient Liaison Office - surprise,surprise -went to message bank!!

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear Painfully Slow,

I am grateful that you have again, shared your story and once again, I do apologise to you that your experience with our service has been prolonged and disappointing for you.

I have spoken with the senior staff in the Surgical Outpatients Clinics who recognise your story and have assured me that they have a record of your details and that an appointment has been scheduled for you within the next 7 days, which is great news. I understand that the processes that we have in place can seem complex and lengthy which is why our staff often spend considerable time explaining these procedures to patients and their families and /or carers.

I regret that you did not get to speak with one of our staff in Patient Liaison Service immediately that you phoned; however, I understand they made contact with you within 30 minutes of your initial call. They have reassured me that they have recorded your concerns which will now be looked into.

Again, thank you for sharing your story.

I wish you all the very best for your future,

With kind regards,

Julie Shepherd

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