"Confusion over an appointment"

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital / Cancer Centre

(as the patient),

As a participant in the RADAR (Randomised Androgen Deprivation and Radiotherapy) trial of prostate radiation treatment since 2007, I have made many visits over 12 years to the cancer clinics. The service until recently this year has been impeccable. For this visit, I used the electronic check-in and sat in the Orange waiting area as directed. I waited nearly an hour as patients and doctors came and went, finally deciding there was a problem. I approached the clerk at the reception desk to enquire about the long wait. He reviewed the appointment on the computer screen, then advised that I was not scheduled to be there until a later date, and I was welcome to return on that date. Normally, if there was a change, I would have been advised by letter. I had received no such advice. Since the express check-in had not indicated otherwise, I had no reason to question the long wait. The clerk seemed very annoyed with me, made no attempt to apologise for any confusion, and then after reviewing various schedules said another doctor could see me in 15 minutes. After about 40 minutes I did finally have a consultation with an oncologist. SCGH is plastered with signs saying, we put the patient first. I felt I was being treated as the problem not the patient. A positive attitude and a simple apology would have been most helpful and well received.  

Responses

Response from Janet Zagari, A/Executive Director, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group We are preparing to make a change

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear Seriously annoyed,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback about your recent poor experience at the Cancer Centre. I am sincerely sorry that your recent visit fell short of your expectations, and was really pleased to hear that with the exception of this visit, the care that the Cancer Centre have provided over the last 12 years has been excellent. Your recent experience was understandably very frustrating and sadly worsened by the response you received when you queried the delay.

You should have been advised by letter or SMS alert of the change to your appointment. I would like us to be able to understand why this didn’t happen. In order to investigate what happened, we need to have your details, and I would appreciate if you would contact our Patient Liaison Service on (08) 6457 2867 so that we can look into it and make sure we resolve the issue.

In relation to your check in, we are working with the provider of our automatic check in system to make sure that patients will no longer be able to check in for an appointment which has been cancelled or rescheduled. The change to our patient appointment system has meant that there needs to be some changes to the check in system and these are expected to be in place by the end of April.

I apologise again for the upset this has caused and thank you for bringing this to my attention. I trust that future visits will be of the standard that you have come to expect from our service, and reflect our commitment to excellent care for our patients.

Kind regards,

Janet Zagari

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