"Signage / Way Finding at Box Hill Hospital"

About: Box Hill Hospital

(as a volunteer/advocate),

The signage in building B at Box Hill hospital is seriously deficient and is the daily cause of patients getting lost, disoriented, and very anxious.  I have drawn this matter to the attention of senior staff  in  writing over a two year period with no attempt at  improvement even though all agree that there is a problem and that it affects our consumers.

The new Strategic Plan highlights “kindness” as one of Eastern Health’s values including “great patient experiences”.  When you can’t find where you should be in a hospital because of poor or missing signs there is a serious problem  and it is not a great experience at all.

Volunteers were appointed two years ago to assist with way finding but their attendance is  inconsistent and despite their presence the problems remain.

In May 2016 I was told that Site and Redevelopment staff would  be given my  feedback  and would be doing a  walk  through. They may have walked through, but nothing has changed and I continue to advocate.

An overarching  problem seems to be that the public do not realise that there are two buildings which merge at the atrium, that each building is separately identified  as  A or  B, and each provides a different range of services, but only building A  has a reception desk. The electronic board at Nelson Rd. entrance does not help most people.

To improve the patient’s experience or to “walk in the patient’s shoes”,  building B needs way finding signs that are unambiguous, in large print with contrasting colours, expressed in common English and include all services, lifts and toilets.

Examples of distressing scenarios are when a claustrophobic  teenager, found crouching in a corner  of outpatients crying, who needed  to reach Allied Health on level  three, but is unable to enter a lift and cannot find the stairs.

Or an elderly person who has left their car in the basement car park and because they are now in building B for an appointment do not realize that the car park is beneath building A and they become disoriented and distressed  trying to find their way back to their car.

Or the elderly man gripping his trouser front  saying to me  in a pleading but angry voice - where the hell can a man have a pee in this place?

Or when appointment texts and slips give incomplete or incorrect information such as - please attend Box Hill Hospital at 2 pm  on June 3 - but fail to give the clinic name or where it is.

Signs for  lifts  are invisible or non-existent,  yet many busy services are on upper levels.

After two years I believe it must be within the ability of staff to remedy this problem despite competing priorities. Am I mistaken?

If signage was evaluated  from the patient’s perspective  as a vital  component of the patient’s  experience, I believe it would fail. Do the Accreditation Surveyors look at  signage I wonder?


Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health 2 years ago
We are preparing to make a change
David Plunkett
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 30/11/2017 at 21:07
Published on Care Opinion on 01/12/2017 at 10:23

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Way Finding

I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback regarding the signage and frustration re the current situation. I'm sorry you feel your way of being heard is to post on Patient Opinion as I can see you are a volunteer/advocate at Box Hill Hospital.

Like you, I am disappointed we have not been able to instigate the changes that have been recommended through the review that was undertaken some time ago as you rightly mention. The stories you have listed here are distressing to me too and I am sorry these have been the experiences of patients, visitors and volunteers.

Whilst it is clear you have heard this before, please be assured this issue is now very clearly in my focus and I will follow through on getting the recommended changes made.

Thank you also for your continued support and commitment not only to Eastern Health but more importantly to the patients, families and visitors that access our services.

I hope you will notice changes over the coming months (given it is unlikely changes will be made prior to Christmas).

Many thanks again Way Finding and kind regards


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Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health nearly 2 years ago
We have made a change
David Plunkett
Chief Executive,
Eastern Health
Submitted on 09/11/2018 at 07:44
Published on Care Opinion at 09:54

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Way Finding

Thank you again for sharing feedback regarding the signage and way finding at Box Hill Hospital and particularly Building B.

We have completed a further review and changed or added numerous signs based on your feedback and I trust these have assisted people to better find their way around.

This is a very challenging area to get 100% right, but trust these changes are making a positive difference.

Many thanks again and kind regards


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