"Waiting 10 hours for a surgery that didn't eventuate and wondering if it would happen again."

About: Royal Perth Hospital

(as the patient),

My husband broke his thumb and was scheduled to have a surgery recently. The night before, we received a message from hospital saying the appointment had been moved to the following day. So, as requested, we turned up that day before 6.30 am. My husband was on a fast since the night before the scheduled surgery and waited until 4 pm on the surgery day and was told his appointment was cancelled. He was sent home without any explanation and without any new date. He was waiting for more than 10 hours for the surgery in vain and in hunger.

After so many unsuccessful attempts to contact the doctor for a new date, we finally got a call three days later telling us that the surgery is rescheduled for two days following that call. The doctor assured him that he will be put on the first list and the admission centre staff acknowledged this. To our disappointment, while he was taken to the waiting ward, he was told that he is actually on the pending list again. He was then waiting in hunger and in pain without knowing if this would be another empty wait. 

In my opinion the system is terrible since they can estimate how many patients they can take on considering allowance for any emergency cases. Patients should not be waiting until last minutes and get informed of the cancelled appointment when the doctor was about to leave and walking pass the ward. For those patients put on the pending list, I feel the nurses also know that there is no chance they will get operated on in the morning. Why bother to ask the patients to wait from 6.30 am?

Responses

Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group 2 years ago
We are preparing to make a change
Lesley Bennett
Executive Director,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 11/04/2018 at 14:53
Published on Care Opinion at 15:01


picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear Unbelievable,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience of Royal Perth Hospital. I would like to begin by unreservedly apologising for your experience as this is not the level of service we like to provide at Royal Perth Hospital.

While on occasion surgical procedures can be cancelled due to urgent cases presenting without notice, we aim to prioritise those cancelled so that their procedures are done as soon as possible and also to prioritise your surgery after it has been cancelled. This obviously was not the case in this instance and we clearly have some work to do to improve.

I have discussed your case with key staff responsible for managing this area and we are planning to commence a piece of work reviewing how patients are managed and communicated with in circumstances such as yours. I hope to be able to update you here on our progress in addressing this shortfall in our service.

Once again, thank you for the time in sharing your experience from which I can assure you we will make improvements to our service delivery.

Dr Lesley Bennett

Director of Clinical Services

Royal Perth Bentley Group

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Unbelievable (the patient)

Thanks for your response. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the doctor, medical staff and nurse for their care before, during and after the surgery despite the improvements that are required of the system.

Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group 2 years ago
We have made a change
Lesley Bennett
Executive Director,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 28/08/2018 at 11:35
Published on Care Opinion at 12:19


picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear Unbelievable,

Back in April I responded to your feedback and advised that we were undertaking a review of how patients are managed and communicated with in circumstances such as yours.

I am happy to advise you that we have made changes to address communication between staff and patients regarding their surgery. These include hourly updates to all patients and ensuring a single staff member each shift has the responsibility for keeping our patients informed of time frames for treatment and any changes to the schedule. While we are unable to change the instances of surgeries needing to be rescheduled due to emergencies, we have found that this has resulted in less confusion and complaints from patients.

I’d like to thank you again for providing this valuable feedback that has guided us to improve our process and offer better care to our patients.

Best wishes

Dr Lesley Bennett

Acting Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Unbelievable (the patient)

Hi, it is really a pleasing outcome of the changes made. All the best to all of our medical staff and thanks for listening!

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