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"Poor visitor treatment"

About: Caulfield Hospital

(as a service user),

A few days later, I am still shaking from the experience. I went to the Alfred Hospital in Kooyong Rd Caulfield, intending to meet a friend at the cafe in the entrance there. The cafe was closed. I explained to one staff member doing CoVid screening in the entrance that in fact my friend and I were going to the private facility on the same campus but had intended meeting at the cafe as we were both familiar with its placement. They insisted I be screened for CoVid, to which I agreed. Afterwards, they told me I could not wait in the entrance, I must wait outside. I moved into the space between the two sets of glass doors into the hospital. Not good enough. They told me I must move outside. I moved outside. They told me I could not stand outside and that I could wait in the street.

In my opinion, their manner was totally vile. I felt there was no respect (I am a senior citizen), care or even common politeness shown to me despite the fact that I totally complied with their commands, and they were commands, not simple requests. I believe CoVid 19 does not excuse this sort of behaviour. I feel nothing excuses this sort of behaviour.

My friend arrived and they too were brought inside by one of the screening personnel and put through the same screening process. Then we made our way to Hammond Health's facility, a quite separate building and a distance away from the main hospital by which - several years ago -  it was once run. 

I felt there was never any need for any of that rudeness. I believe Hammond Health does their own screening of visitors and the Alfred Hospital Personnel were told quite clearly that is where we were headed. Do not tell me that the Alfred staff are so under such stress that they become super vigilant. These are not front line workers. In my opinion, the staff member in question was clearly and simply on a power trip. And how dare they tell me to go and stand in the street. I have as much right as anyone else to stand outside the hospital without being bullied into being told I will be removed, which is exactly what they told me when I said I would not stand in the street. I still needed to meet my friend.

As it happens, the person we were visiting in Hammond Care's facility, has a terminal illness. Even going to the hospital was an emotional experience for me, having not so long ago spent a year doing the same - visiting my sibling and stepchild, both dying of cancer.

I believe visitors are as much a part of a person's health care as are the trained medical staff, albeit with different roles. To treat any visitor in this manner is, I feel, disgraceful. Respect is a two-way street and I feel this staff member needs to learn more of it before they are unleashed on the public. I asked for their name (after I had been followed outside and told by them to stand in the street) but they simply responded by asking mine. I gave it to them willingly. I was not given theirs, but I can describe them very well to anyone who may be slightly interested. Unless they not the only one on a power trip.


Response from Care Opinion Australia 5 months ago
Submitted on 07/01/2021 at 15:04
Published on Care Opinion at 15:05

This response has been published by Care Opinion on behalf of Alfred Health

Dear notgh36,

I’m really sorry to hear of your experience with the entry point screening team at Caulfield Hospital. We have followed up with the relevant staff member involved. During the current pandemic it is essential that all visitors are screened for COVID-19 to protect our staff and vulnerable patients, and generally our entry point screening team have been polite and helpful. However, it sounds as though this was not your experience.

I apologise again for any distress this may have caused you. I do hope your next encounter at Caulfield Hospital is a much more positive experience.

Kind regards,

Dina Watterson, Acting Director of Operations, Caulfield Hospital

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

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