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"Health Service confusion"

About: Healesville and Yarra Valley Health

(as a parent/guardian),

I am a parent living in a rural area of Upper Yarra. The local health service attended the preschool where my child attends and several other children living in the same area also attend. Some of the children needed to see the occupational staff member after they were seen; when we called Yarra Valley Health at Healesville Hospital we were told it would take several weeks for an appointment. The staff member who took the details was very pleasant but why tell people our children need to see someone then you don't have the appointments available? We are also concerned other people know our business; we could hear 2 people talking in the background, does everyone hear our business?

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Response from Jo Gatehouse, Director, Quality, Planning and Innovation (Acute Health and Consumer Participation and Patient Experience), Eastern Health 6 years ago
We are preparing to make a change
Jo Gatehouse
Director, Quality, Planning and Innovation (Acute Health and Consumer Participation and Patient Experience),
Eastern Health
Submitted on 2/06/2017 at 10:27 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 10:44 AM

picture of Jo Gatehouse

Dear timely appointments needed,

I am sorry to read about your experience at Yarra Valley Health and understand your frustration about being unable to get a more timely appointment for your child.

Our community health services attempt to see all clients (particularly paediatric clients) as quickly as possible. Eastern Health Community Health is currently trialling an innovative way to manage their waitlists and are hopeful that these new strategies will reduce waiting times for all clients.

I am sorry that this potential waiting time was not explained to you (and the other families who were encouraged to attend for an appointment) at the time of referral and we will ensure that this is clearly communicated at future sessions.

In the meantime, there may be some other options for your child including referral to an additional or alternative service or review of your child’s level of need. Our Associate Program Director for Community Health, Michele Goding, would be more than happy to discuss these options with you if you would like to email her on

In relation to the possible lack of confidentiality that you have referred to, this is of utmost concern to us and we will review the premises from where these services are delivered to ensure that any identified issues are rectified.

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion and for alerting us to your concerns about confidentiality and once again, I am sorry that in this instance we have been unable to provide you with a more timely appointment for your child.

Kind Regards,

Jo Gatehouse

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Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 5 years ago
We have made a change
David Plunkett
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 21/01/2019 at 5:04 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 5:10 PM

picture of David Plunkett

Dear timely appointments needed

Thank you again for your feedback regarding your experience Yarra Valley Health of nearly 2 years ago. I thought I would provide an update on the changes made based on your experience.

The waiting list management changes made have been fully implemented to ensure the team is seeing the most urgent patients first. This has been a considerable change and we look to constantly review the effectiveness of it and also what other improvements can be made.

With respect to your comments regarding privacy, all staff involved in the 'intake' process are located in a staff only area, so the other noises you heard would have been staff working within Yarra Valley Health, not members of the public. As mentioned previously, maintaining the privacy of patients and their health information is of utmost importance.

I hope this update is helpful and wish you and your child the best of health.

Kind regards


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