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"Late for my appointment"

About: Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital

(as the patient),

I unexpectedly had to go to the ED at Sydney Eye Hospital. I'm visually impaired and had to make an appointment with the Eye Clinic for the following day. Unfortunately I wasn't aware that my mum had a coinciding appointment time elsewhere. I needed to walk her to her appointment because she too is visually impaired. This meant that I was late for my appointment at the Eye Clinic. When I explained this at reception after arriving, the staff understood and I was willing to wait to be seen.

But then a nurse came out and asked why I was 4 1/2 hours late. She had her hands on her hips and appeared quite cross. She told me I was unable to have an appointment that day because I had missed mine and that I needed to go and make an appointment for another day.

When I went to make the new appointment, the receptionist said, why can't you wait - surely they can help you. The receptionist then went to speak to the nurse. The nurse responded to me with - why did you say this? I told you I would ask the doctor.

I repeated what the nurse had really said and she adamantly denied that she had said this and continued to say, so everyone in the clinic could hear, that she had told me to wait and she would speak to the doctor. This made me feel very stressed because I know what she really said.

I did end up getting to see the doctor that day. I had always been prepared to wait because I knew I had missed my scheduled appointment. The only reason I ended up being able to see a doctor was because of the receptionist.

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Response from Carolyn Smith, Deputy Director of Nusing, Nursing, Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital 6 years ago
Carolyn Smith
Deputy Director of Nusing, Nursing,
Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital

Operational Manager

Submitted on 21/09/2017 at 4:22 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 4:31 PM

Dear Appointment time

I would like to apologise for your experience while attending a clinic appointment at the Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital, especially when you were probably already feeling anxious about being late for the appointment. I have contacted the Nursing Unit Manager and can confirm that your experience will be used as a reminder for our staff to ‘place themselves in the patient’s shoes’ and ensure open, compassionate and timely communication.

Thank you for being prepared to wait to see a doctor and it was pleasing to read your compliment regarding your experience with the receptionist.

I really appreciate you taking the time to provide your feedback on Patient Opinion. I can assure you, receiving feedback such as yours is very important to me and our team.

Kind regards


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