Appointments

(as the patient),

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About: Osborne Park Hospital

I would like to make a complaint about the appointment system. I was sent a letter with an appointment and unfortunately, I was going to be out of the country on that date. I phoned to make a different appointment and was told it would be another 3-4 month wait and that I'd receive a letter. I asked if I could request an appointment any time except for January, as I'd be away then. I was told that no, that wasn't possible. When I hadn't received a new appointment date, I phoned to check if one had been made - it had and it was for the 14 January, which I can't attend. If I hadn't have phoned to check, I wouldn't have received the letter until December, which seems counterproductive to people planning ahead to be able to attend their appointment.

The person on the phone was quite dismissive and rude and said I would most probably be discharged. I spoke to a friend who said that some people may assume this means they've been discharged because they no longer have an issue that requires following up. Luckily, I work in the health area, I'm health-literate and I'm motivated to ensure that I follow up to receive the test that my doctor has referred me for. Because of these reasons, I've decided to go private. The reason I'm writing this is because there are many people who are not in the same situation as me, and would end up just not attending their appointment and never having their symptoms followed up.

Whilst I appreciate it is a free public service, surely there is a more effective way to make appointments.

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Response from Janet Zagari, A/Executive Director, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear cygnusnx67

Thank you for providing your feedback about our hospital’s appointment process and the way that the staff member communicated with you when you telephoned to request an alternate appointment date.

We aim to provide an excellent customer experience and I apologise most sincerely for your experience.

With regard to the appointment process, it is usual for an appointment letter to be sent to the patient six weeks prior to the scheduled appointment and an SMS reminder to be sent 48hrs before the date. As you have highlighted it can happen that this process does not meet the patient’s individual circumstances. In such cases we are always open to rescheduling appointments in consultation with clinical management, to ensure that the risk to the individual patient is assessed.

As we manage many patients within the public health system with varying health literacy needs it is extremely important to communicate effectively. We expect all staff to provide clear explanations and to try to respond to patient’s individual needs and I am truly sorry that this did not happen for you.

Your feedback will be shared with the team so that we can continue to learn and to work on improving our services

Once again my thanks for bringing your concerns to our attention.

Kind regards

Janet Zagari

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