"Lack of communication"

About: Royal Melbourne Hospital - Royal Park

(as a relative),

My elderly spouse was admitted after a motor vehicle accident recently. Visiting my spouse the following day I asked to speak to the doctor and waited for a couple of hours, I then had to leave, one of the nurses went and got the doctor who then spoke to me in the corridor on my way out and said they would do an MRI. A week and a half later my spouse was still waiting for the MRI. I was told by some other doctor that my spouse could come home soon and the doctor would get back to me and let me know exactly when. The doctor didn't get back to me so my spouse didn't come home.

I then rang the hospital only to be told that my spouse was waiting for an MRI. I ask to speak to the doctor and am told they will ring me back. I ring the Customer Liaison and they have an answering machine. How long is the usual waiting list for an MRI? Why are the lines of communication only open when they want to talk to me.

The nursing staff and nursing care, however, was good. 


Response from Executive Director Strategy, Quality and Improvement, Melbourne Health 12 months ago
Submitted on 19/06/2019 at 17:21
Published on Care Opinion on 20/06/2019 at 09:53

Dear Aged and Ignored,

I am very sorry to hear of your experience and the description of the delays you have incurred. As you have not provided any details I cannot comment specifically.

However, on your behalf I have contacted our manager of the radiology department and he has reassured me that most inpatient MRI investigations are done within 2 days. Sometimes there are safety reasons why a test may be delayed, for example, if we need to verify the type of pacemaker or other implanted device, to ensure it can safely go through our machine. The manufacture check will add to the overall waiting time but again, we expect these checks to be completed within 48 hours. Very occasionally verification takes a significantly longer time.

The manager of our radiology service would be happy to review your circumstances if you get in touch with our consumer liaison team at the following email address:


With regard to your comments about communication between treating clinicians (as well as to yourself), I would like to apologise that our processes seemed to be confusing. As a tertiary referral and trauma service we receive many complex and unwell patients that need input from a large number of specialist teams and we are aware of the importance of clear communication. We have introduced team huddles to assist in improving the way we work together and we will continue to improve in this area.

I hope this response has answered some of your concerns and I hope that your spouse continues to recover well.


Prof George Braitberg

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

Update posted by Aged and Ignored (a relative)

Although I agree with the need for verification of the pacemaker it was in fact put in by the Royal Melbourne Hospital early last year. The information should have been on their file. Also they given a card to carry in their wallet containing the information required and nobody asked for it. They had injuries and a good knock on the head therefore not really thinking clearly enough to hand it over under their own steam. I think in this case the system failed. My spouse and myself could not fault the care given to us by nursing, doctors etc. I think the admin needs a wee bit of attention.