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"My confidence level with the referral system is very low"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My ENT surgeon referred my toddler to Box Hill Hospital to be wait listed for public surgery. The surgeon told me to call BHH in a few weeks to confirm they had received the referral as they had a history of referrals not being received.

After three weeks I called BHH. I had to wait 45 mins on hold (which seemed very unreasonable!) to talk to someone about the issue, to be told that they could not find a medical history for my child. They could not confirm if they had ever received the referral, so advised me to ask my ENT to re-send the referral. I then checked with the operator what the best way forward was, to ensure that my referral would be received. They informed me that I would have to wait a week, until the fax had been collected, the referral processed and a history compiled. The operator informed me that 'since the move, due the renovations' they were quite behind in work and it could even possibly take longer to process the referral. When I suggested that I call in a day or two (rather than waiting a week) to see if the faxed referral was received, the operator informed me that the fax was too far from the phone operators desk and they could not possibly check through the faxes to ensure mine had been received. In addition, when I asked if the referrer would receive a confirmation from the hospital that the referral had been received, they replied 'no, our system is so out dated that is does not have the capacity to do that'.

My confidence level with the system is very low, as I called my ENT and they confirmed that they did send the referral 3 weeks ago, however were happy to resend. In addition, I'm loathed to have to call back next week and wait 45 mins, while trying to occupy a toddler while I'm on the phone. The phone line is not open after hours and there is no other way to contact the department. As you can appreciate, I'm keen to reduce the delays in accessing surgery (that is impacting my child's development).

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Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 8 years ago
Alan Lilly
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 1/10/2015 at 5:33 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 2/10/2015 at 10:40 AM

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear waiting for surgery

First of all, let me thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I am sorry that you have experienced these issues with regard to the referral but you can be reassured that I am happy to personally follow-up for you.

If I experienced our service as you have done, I would not be happy either so I totally understand how you feel. I was also not aware of any delays but there have been recent moves following the refurbishment and so it is possible that the new work environment has added to the problem at this stage.

So please allow me to follow-up for you. Can you please send me your child's full name, date of birth, referring surgeon's name and your address and I will ensure that we get back to you. Please send this privately to me at with a contact telephone number that we can call you on too.

Once again, thank you for sharing your story and if you send the information requested, we'll resolve this matter as quickly as we can (please note that we do have a Public Holiday on Friday 2 October 2015).

Kind regards, Alan lilly

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