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"Inappropriate music playing outside ICU"

About: Cabrini Hospital - Malvern

(as a relative),

My complaint is to do with the music that was piping out of speakers in the roof in the corridors just outside the ICU at Cabrini, Malvern. My family and myself spent quite a bit of time waiting on the chairs outside the ICU while my father was very sick inside there. The whole time we were in the waiting area, pop music was channeled into our ears; mostly classic hits of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as some computer-generated tunes (otherwise known as 'Midi music', you should look it up if you don't know what I am talking about. ) While it actually brought some light relief at certain moments - it was profoundly inappropriate. It was the kind of music more suited to the supermarket aisles than to a hospital environment, particularly for that wing of the hospital. It was at that very spot where the doctor told us early in the morning, that my father's time had come. While it may be that the hospital plays music to reflect findings from some psychological study that demonstrates its calming effect, more appropriate music, perhaps classical music or something soft and non-intrusive, should have been played.

The music was alienating, bizarre and, while somewhat humorous, also disturbing. This issue should be addressed for future families. Such quiet, intense moments spent outside ICU waiting to see a very sick loved one should not be spent with offended ears.

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Response from Cabrini Health 6 years ago
We are preparing to make a change
Submitted on 4/07/2016 at 4:49 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 5/07/2016 at 7:40 AM

Dear Inappropriate music,

My deepest condolences to hear of your father’s passing.

I’m also sorry to hear about the impact that the inappropriate music played had on you and your family at such a sensitive time. At Cabrini Health, we endeavor to provide an excellent patient and family experience, which includes the environment in which we care for patients and areas that are used by carers and loved ones. Thank you for your feedback and highlighting an opportunity for improvement in the waiting area outside of our Intensive Care Unit.

I have already forwarded your feedback to the relevant department and requested a proposal to ensure that all music played is appropriate for all the various situations which patients and relatives find themselves in. The guideline will be considered at our next Patient and Family Experience Committee. In the meantime, I have requested that the relevant manager has a look at the current playlist and tries to ensure it is sensitively chosen. I respect your wish to remain anonymous, however should you wish to discuss your concerns further, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer relations department on or 9508 1661.

Kind regards

Simon Woods

Executive Director, Cabrini Malvern

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