"Waiting list for the waiting list"

About: Royal Perth Hospital

(as the patient),

In 2016, I got a referral placed in central clearing house for public patients. Royal Perth Hospital took the referral. They sent me a letter confirming this and telling me to wait for a letter with an appointment time.

18 months later they sent me a letter asking if I was still interested in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedure. I sent back a yes with the comment that I am still choking. No reply. A few months after that I had my GP check if they had lost the paperwork. They kindly informed the GP that they are working on 2015 referrals and should get to 2016 in 12 months or so, to put me on the actual waiting list. Gee, thanks. I throw up several times a week, sometimes multiple in one day. I choke and cannot breathe if I face straight on, so I walk with my head turned to the right. I have lost 3/4 of my crowns as the posts have eroded.

This has been a few years getting to this point. What is the use? Did Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) have a quota to fill? Why did they take the referral? Are they instigating a policy of waiting for clients to die or give up? I am beyond angry and feeling utterly helpless. Given that WACHS knows there is physio only once a month in my rural area, how will I re-train my neck to operate correctly? Service at RPH is, in my opinion, abysmal and I haven't even set foot inside the door.


Response from Dori Lombardi, Director of Nursing, Royal Perth Bentley Group 12 months ago
Dori Lombardi
Director of Nursing,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 11/07/2019 at 16:04
Published on Care Opinion at 16:05

picture of Dori Lombardi

Dear ink6306,

Thank you for contacting us about your experience so that we are aware of the situation and can provide you with an explanation and support. What you describe living with daily must be very painful and debilitating and I understand how this has left you feeling helpless. I am very sorry that it has gotten to this point. Referrals are allocated to the hospitals by the WA Central Referral Service based on which hospital they determine to be the most suitable based on the patient location, speciality required and the level of service required. Unfortunately, waitlists for appointments at public hospitals can be lengthy depending on the service required.

However, I am concerned about your deteriorating condition and would very much like to speak with you. Can I ask you to please contact my office on 9224 2219 so that we can talk in person. I apologise again that you have been left feeling this way and encourage you to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Doris Lombardi

A/Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

  • ink6306 thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} other {{helpful-1 == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} so too

Update posted by ink6306 (the patient)

I am distraught and devastated.

As an update, 4 months ago I suddenly got an ENT appointment at RPH for August. Which was changed by the ENT to 2 weeks later, which was changed by me that day for a scheduled conflict. Again, 2 weeks later. So, I go into the rabbit warren that gets one to ENT.

They were professional, quick and courteous. They identified a fairly common problem, fixable, and simply required a CT scan of the neck area which they would schedule at RPH because I am a person dependent on public health.

But at RPH because, shock horror, I'm a public patient, I'd have an ENT appointment in mid-December contingent on that CT scan and someone forgot to book it at RPH. Oh, the horrors of having to treat the indigent, eh?!

They forgot. I'm choking and vomiting for 3 1/2 months, desperate, depressed and at the end of my rope and someone forgot?!

I actually had hope. How dare you give me hope? Do I think the ENT appt. was a brush-off? Yes. I am beyond angry, I am without hope. I have no trust in RPH and its administration whatsoever. I do not trust the WA health system at all.

Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group 6 months ago
Lesley Bennett
Executive Director,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 16/12/2019 at 13:09
Published on Care Opinion at 13:11

picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear ink6306,

I am very sorry to hear of your distressing circumstances and the difficulty you have faced accessing important health services.

I am pleased to hear you received an ENT appointment and the staff were professional and courteous. However, it is deeply concerning to hear that the required CT scan has not been completed in time for your next appointment.

I do encourage you to please contact the RPBG Consumer Engagement Unit (CEU) to follow up your appointment and radiology schedule. The staff in the CEU are aware of your Patient Opinion story and are ready to assist you.

They are available on phone 9224 1637 or email RPBG.Feedback@health.wa.gov.au opening hours 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday.

This will also enable us to do a detailed review of our systems to find why your scan was not booked and make any necessary changes to our procedures to ensure similar tasks are not missed in the future.

Please accept my apology that you have been left feeling so angry and let down by our health service. I hope we are able to resolve the problem and make some steps toward restoring your hope in getting a positive health outcome.


Dr Lesley Bennett

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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