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"Woeful time management and lack of prioritisation of older patient."

About: Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital

(as a relative),

Our elderly parent had an appointment for a review with an orthopaedic surgeon after badly breaking their leg and requiring a new hip replacement. Their injury is severe and they require special seat padding and leg support to help manage the pain.

The ambulance got my parent to the hospital at 9.30am for a 10.45am appointment and then they were kept waiting for another hour and a quarter after their scheduled appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon, finally being seen at 12.15pm.

Prior to the appointment, my sibling rang to find out how long the appointment would be and if X-rays would be required. The receptionist said they didn't know and couldn't find out (which is ridiculous). 

My parent had waited so long that they had to get assistance from an orderly to go to the bathroom. On their return, the orderly complained to my sibling asking, did they know that our parent needed assistance to go to the bathroom? My sibling replied yes, our parent's in full-time nursing care. The orderly then gave the receptionist instructions about future toileting of our parent.

Finally, the physiotherapist saw my parent for 9 minutes to ascertain their movement and then my parent saw the orthopaedic surgeon for 2 minutes and X-rays were ordered, which we knew would be required. The surgeon admitted they could have managed this better.

The wait for X-rays was 30 minutes and my parent was reviewed shortly after. My parent then waited from 1pm until 3.15pm for an ambulance to return them to the nursing home. In the end, the ambulance never arrived and my sibling had to get a wheelchair taxi. 

Our parent spent nearly 6 hours at the Holy Spirit for a total of less than 20 minutes contact time with highly paid staff. The complete lack of regard for our parent and absolute lack of consideration for the pain they were in is appalling. The orderly was rude, and the lack of prioritisation from staff made this day extremely challenging for our parent. Our parent is old, but they deserve better.  

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