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"Waiting for elective surgery"

About: Royal Perth Hospital / Elective & Emergency Orthopaedic Surgery & Bone Tissue Bank

(as the patient),

After many, many years of being plagued by back pain, a very long wait for the first appointment after the initial referral and years of attending appointments, I saw a doctor at the Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) Spinal Clinic a few months ago who said they would operate to alleviate my pain.

I was told that the op would come up in three months. I heard nothing more throughout those three months until I started to feel a little concerned about hearing nothing. So I contacted the clinic where I found out that a doctor I'd never even seen had canned the op and what's more they weren't even going to inform me of that decision.

I can't even begin to express how angry and frustrated I feel. All trust in the health system has evaporated. I thought that hospitals were about providing care for patients, but it seems that they are just a massive ego trip for doctors. I feel that I have been totally devalued as a person and just thrown onto the scrap heap. 


Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group 14 months ago
Lesley Bennett
Executive Director,
Royal Perth Bentley Group
Submitted on 27/11/2019 at 13:39
Published on Care Opinion at 13:49

picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear not a priority,

Thank you for sharing your experience so we have the opportunity to assess our practices and to apologise that our Hospital left you feeling so devalued.

I agree that all patients should be involved in the decision making about their plan of care and options for treatment. So I am concerned to hear that changes were made to your agreed care plan without discussion with you, and that you were not provided with information about why you might not be suitable for surgery, or have any alternatives discussed with you.

I invite you to please contact our Consumer Engagement Unit on 9224 1637 so that we can talk with you and get further information to see if we can satisfactorily resolve this for you.

Kind regards

Dr Lesley Bennett,

Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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

Update posted by not a priority (the patient)

Thank you for your reply Dr Bennett. I did indeed get in touch with the Consumer Engagement Unit as suggested and they arranged for an appointment with the relevant consultant - which I attended recently.

Unfortunately, the consultant didn't attend and I was seen by the junior registrar who had to keep going back to the consultant to ask questions. I felt the appointment was a complete and utter waste of time with no outcome other than if I'm lucky I will get an op late April early May. Frustratingly because it will take so long I'll have to go through all the scans and test all over again - which seems a terrible waste of money and resources.

Now according to the MyHospitals website the waiting time for Orthopaedic surgery at RPH is on average 33 days, so how come I'm faced with an 8 month wait? I believe that's because as a disabled mature-age person, I believe I'm not a priority. I believe if I was a young person with scoliosis then I'd have surgeons fawning all over me, but a disabled person - forget about it.

I'm in a lot of pain, my quality of life is severely diminished and yet I'm told to wait and be grateful. No help is offered to help with the wait. No suggestion of how to make it more tolerable. I feel it is just a case of go away and consider your self fortunate that you've been graced with an appointment.

I'm at the end of my tether. I go to bed every night wishing I won't wake up and wake up every morning disappointed.

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