"Pain Clinic"

About: King Edward Memorial Hospital

(as the patient),

I recently had a follow-up appointment with the pelvic pain clinic at King Edward Memorial Hospital with the whole team (pain doctor, gynaecologist, physiotherapist and psychologist). During this appointment, I feel the pain doctor treated me disgustingly, which made me leave in tears. I felt the whole appointment became about my weight, which I do understand affects pain but they refused to acknowledge anything I was saying once they saw me.

This doctor weighed me in front of them all because they thought I had lied on my form, then asked me what I was doing about my weight. I explained at the moment they were just trying to get my bowels working again. This doctor then proceeded to tell me that my thyroid doesn’t magically add calories and that the Dietitian I saw would be disappointed in me for not losing weight, when I had only seen them to focus on my post surgery bowel issues. This doctor then tried to discharge me from the clinic and laughed when I got teary. Thankfully one of my usual doctors in the appointment stopped them from discharging me.

The same doctor that I feel was rude said I’m wasting their time and resources even though I am doing everything they’ve requested. They said a lot of other things I found to be very offensive and didn’t offer any assistance. Another staff member reported them too and I have as well. I feel you shouldn’t have someone so insensitive working with people who have chronic pain and many other health conditions.  

Responses

Response from Jodi Graham, A/Executive Director, Women and Newborn Health Service

picture of Jodi Graham

Dear limags87,

Thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns regarding your experience with the Women and Newborn Health Service (WNHS). WNHS strives to provide quality, patient-centered care and I am sorry that this was not the case on this occasion.

I would like to apologise for the comments made to you regarding your weight and for the suggestion that you had lied about your weight on the hospital documentation. The Pelvic Pain Clinic team aims to focus not on one single area of our patient’s health, rather, a holistic approach to the treatment of persistent pelvic pain, and I am sorry that this was not the model of care provided to you during your appointment.

Your feedback has been provided to the staff at the Pelvic Pain Clinic and staff have been reminded of our standard of appropriate and effective communication with our patients. The WNHS Pelvic Pain service always aims to be compassionate and the staff have apologised for the distressed that this has caused you.

If you would like to further discuss your feedback, please contact the Women and Newborn Health Service Customer Service Unit on 6458 1444. Once again, I would like to apologise for any distress that this has caused you and I wish you well for the future.

Kind regards

Jodi Graham

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