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"Unable to get a call through for 2 weeks"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / General Outpatient Clinics

(as a service user),

Several weeks ago had a telephone consult which was meant to see a script posted out.

Attended GP when it didn't turn up after 3 weeks but I believe they had received nothing from FSH so were unable to provide a script.

Spent 2 weeks trying to call the clinic - got hung up on multiple times when the clinic answered, ended up on a continuous loop of 'we are really busy so call beck later' messaging - no means to actually leave a message. Stayed listening to a loop for over 2 hours at one point. Your reception staff suggested I go through to the complaints people to get them to sort it out when I believe even they could not get through to the clinic.

Whilst everyone can appreciate how busy and dedicated all health workers are, I feel it is frustrating not being able to leave a message or speak with someone who can take a message. I believe the issue of the missing script would not have taken long to sort out. Please look at your system of taking calls for clinics. In my opinion, we can do better to support patients and the amazing staff working in the system, and to relieve the frustration everyone feels, including your telephone staff.

Responses

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service 5 months ago
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 09/02/2021 at 19:30
Published on Care Opinion on 10/02/2021 at 10:04


picture of Neil Doverty

Dear earmarksz67,

I am very sorry to hear of the problems you are encountering with obtaining your script and trying to get through to your clinic. Care Opinion is a confidential platform, so although we cannot be 100% sure, our Patient and Family Liaison Service (PFLS) advised me that they spoke to someone with feedback similar to yours and have already requested the clinic provide your script ASAP.

If it was not you who contacted our PFLS, then I respectfully ask that you please contact them. PFLS is more than just a complaints department; one of the roles of PFLS is to provide information, advocacy and support to patients. PFLS can be contacted on 6152 4013 between 8.30am and 4.30pm, or anytime via email: FSHFeedback@health.wa.gov.au.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

Group Executive Director

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

Update posted by earmarksz67 (a service user)

Hello Neil

Thank you for your reply.

My main point is that I feel something needs to be done about your phone system and assisting with queries - my enquiry about a script is only a small matter which I believe could have been dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Your staff manning phones are fantastic however in my opinion, are seemingly limited by what they are allowed to do for patients. I am under the impression that most calls for Out Patients are to change appointments - again I believe relatively easy calls to sort out for the patient I would think - but I feel they need to be able to respond to other queries such as missing scripts too.

The only option for a solution for me was where one of your staff said I needed to contact the complaints people to sort my issue out. How is that the best solution? I felt I did not need to complain, just needed a script.

Perhaps allowing your staff in instances such as mine to forward a message to the relevant clinic would be sufficient in sorting the matter out. I figure that it was due to an accident that the script was not sent in the first instance, but the difficulty in trying to follow up without having to lodge a complaint is, I feel, really annoying. In my opinion, your staff deserve better than feeling that they cannot assist your patients, your patients deserve better instead of feeling like they are asking the impossible.

I thank you for your time in responding to me and I hope I have made my message clearer for you to consider some changes.

Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service 5 months ago
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 11/02/2021 at 19:32
Published on Care Opinion on 12/02/2021 at 10:25


picture of Neil Doverty

Dear earmarksz67,

I agree with you. It should be easier for patients to speak with the correct clinic with straightforward queries such as yours.

I also agree that staff should not encourage patients to make a complaint to instigate change – we have many other channels for progressing concerns and change or improvement ideas than via patients making complaints.

We have a monthly forum with all middle to upper managers, myself and the Manager of Patient Family Liaison Service are going to discuss the above two issues using your situation as an example, with a call to action later this month.

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback – I look forward to making the most of this learning opportunity by implementing positive change.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty.

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

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