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"Misunderstandings and miscommunication at Sunnybank Private Hospital"

About: Sunnybank Private Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

This is hard to put to words and something I never wish to experience again. My child was admitted to have a procedure done. From the start of checking in we were confronted with a staff member that was so tired they weren’t able to input the correct information into the system. This was the start of what seemed to be an ongoing nightmare.

The first part of getting my child settled into their room and ready for surgery was ok. The time they were admitted and operated on was as planned and on track. From this point things started to go terribly wrong. Information that was meant to be put into my child’s chart was not clear, and a major misunderstanding by the nursing staff was later the next morning quite clear.

That day and night we never received any food or drinks, I had to chase up the food people to get my child and myself something to eat, at this point I was shown where the kitchen was and where we could get something when needed. I later found out we were not checked in for the overnight stay, I put this down to the check in process. This I could deal with and wasn't too concerned.

It was in the early morning when things really went wrong. My child had to have 2 large gauze removed from their nose and had to have a morphine injection half an hour before this was done. The night nurse was unaware of this and told me she never seen this on their chart. Half an hour after this was to happen she found something that mentioned this but was not sure of the amount of morphine to be given. Finally they gave the injection and proceeded to remove the gauze.

Well this is when all hell broke. My child was in a huge amount of pain and was bleeding badly from their nose this triggered a mass panic and they went into some code red situation. It was terrifying to watch it, and seemed no one had control of the situation until the doctor came. I later find out they had only given my child a very small amount of morphine not the recommendation from the doctor. The other part of what was amazing was no one except myself and the doctor knew what operation my child had.

I’ve said enough. I’m very upset, please explain to me why this happened. We went private thinking we would get the best and if it wasn't for the last nurse we had I was going straight to the head of that department.

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Response from Janeen Jackson, Quality Manager, Sunnybank Private Hospital 7 years ago
We are preparing to make a change
Janeen Jackson
Quality Manager,
Sunnybank Private Hospital
Submitted on 15/07/2015 at 5:00 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 16/07/2015 at 10:06 AM

Dear very concerned,

I was so sorry to hear about your story in regards to your child’s admission to Sunnybank Private Hospital. The outcomes that you describe are not what we would wish for our patients and their families and I would like to offer you, your child and your family a sincere apology that your expectations of our service were not met.

Food is always available for children and their family whilst they are here and it is with regret that you had to ask for it rather than it being offered to you. Your experience has resulted in us reviewing aspects of our services, including improving the orientation process parents receive when their child has been admitted. It will now emphasise how to access items like food and beverages, and what to expect in regards to care of your child whilst they are in our care.

The feedback that you provide regarding the delay in the administration of morphine, and it being a lower dose than recommended by the doctor, was due to an incomplete prescription written. The dose to be administered was not recorded, therefore the nurse had to make alternative arrangements to confirm a dose through a different doctor, as the prescribing doctor could not be contacted.

Unfortunately, removal of nasal packs does result in bleeding from time to time. When situations such as this occur, as was the case with your child, the nurse made a ‘Rapid Response Call’, which resulted in a number of staff attending to your child to manage their medical emergency to ensure their condition was controlled and to prevent further deterioration. Rapid Response systems or teams are common in all hospitals.

We understand that situations such as this may be distressing for patients and their families when a group of clinical staff unfamiliar to them assist in a medical emergency. To help our patients and families understand, and also initiate Rapid Response calls; we have developed a brochure that will be given to patients on admission. The brochure describes what a Rapid Response Call is and how to initiate a call if they are concerned about the condition of the patient.

Again, I am so sorry that your experience in our hospital failed to meet your expectations. I would like to invite you to contact me either by phone on (07) 3344 9333 or in person to discuss your child’s admission and to offer some explanation as to what occurred.

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