"Outpatient wait times"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Dermatology Department

(as the patient),

I race out of work and take children out of school so I’m not late for my appointments and each time wait more than an hour to be seen, both in dermatology and paediatrics. At Perth Children’s Hospital PCH) the wait times for outpatients have been much, much less. Not long ago I had a GP appointment and they texted me to let me know he was running an hour late, which I was so appreciative of.

I sat for 1.5 hours at the Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) outpatients clinic for dermatology, which is a common occurrence. The specialists are brilliant when you finally get to see them, but I think the hospital can easily introduce an SMS system to notify patients if they are running late. There are a lot of pensioners waiting and I have heard them anxiously talking about the cost to them in parking with such long delays (not to mention they can’t afford food at the cafes). Isn’t it simple to book less patients into each clinic when there are consistently delays? Or notify patients of long delays as suggested so people aren’t leaving work and school unnecessarily.

My comparison was with PCH which we also attend with my child and we never wait there longer than 10 minutes. I think it would be worth the FSH clinics finding out how they do it there.

We really do appreciate the brilliant care we receive, but people have commitments and jobs and in my opinion, the hospital should ensure it thinks about those things. Particularly for the many pensioners at the hospital who can't afford the extra parking costs when they are delayed and are reliant often on public transport.

Responses

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Neil Doverty

Dear sagittariusrz39,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us regarding wait times on the day of appointments for dermatology and paediatrics at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH), and thank you for your compliments regarding our dermatology specialists. I truly appreciate and value how precious time is for all our patients including people such as yourself who are very busy juggling family and work commitments, and apologise for the wait times you have been experiencing.

FSH currently does not yet have systems in place that allow for SMS messages to be sent to patients as you describe, however we are already in the process of exploring innovative digital solutions that will hopefully improve how we can communicate with our patients regarding delays such as those you described, as well as giving our patients more choices and control over how they schedule and receive information about outpatient appointments. We hope to be rolling out new developments in this regard later this year.

If there is any other feedback or information you would like to share with us regarding your specific circumstances, our Patient and Family Liaison Service would love to hear from you and can be contacted on 6152 4013 or email fshfeedback@health.wa.gov.au

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

Executive Director Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital Group

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by sagittariusrz39 (the patient)

Thanks Neil, I appreciate your response and look forward to those updates. Understand it all costs money but as FSH is a new hospital, I would have thought it would have had the very latest in IT and communication tools.

My only other comment was about the prices of food/beverages at the cafes. It doesn't impact me because I only attend for appointments but I know a very low income family who had to travel from Mandurah each day to be with their dying loved one and they could literally not afford to eat there. They were bringing their own sandwiches. I have had the same complaint from pensioners and I would suggest these groups of people make up more than half of the clientele at the café. With volunteers working at another hospital, the prices were much more affordable. Can vouchers be made available to people on health care cards and pensions so they can afford to eat there?

Kind regards

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