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"Doctor-nurse-patient communication"

About: Sutherland Hospital

(as a service user),

My partner has been in hospital for over a week and I believe there have been several communication stuff-ups that I have witnessed during my extended daily visits. One of these, I believe, could have led to tragedy and I feel the others revealed a systemic communication problem between doctors and hospital staff.

As I understand it, the doctors and medical specialists including dieticians make their rounds and discuss with the patients and advise what treatment is to be followed.  Unfortunately, it seems the doctors are too busy (assume not too lazy) to enter their notes into the computers that are wheeled into the ward. The consequences I have witnessed in 1 week are:

1. A patient in the ward was started to be prepped for a colonoscopy. The doctor came in, and in my opinion, abused the nurse and said the prep could kill the patient. During the conversation with the doctor, I believe the nurse said they had followed their instructions.

2.  My partner was given a morphine self-administration device. After a few days the doctors said it should be removed but it was not. Eventually it fell out of my partner's arm during a bathroom visit so they consulted a nurse and told them it was due to be removed anyway. The nurse checked the computer records and said nothing had been entered for 3 days and wanted to put my partner back on the machine.

3. Pain relief - a patient in the next bed with, as I understand it, a bowel blockage who was in a lot of pain requested, I believe, 4 separate times for pain relief. It took two hours before they received anything.

On an individual basis nearly all of the hospital staff have been very helpful and caring.

Thank you


Response from Vicki Weeden, General Manager, The Sutherland Hospital & Garrawarra Centre last month
Vicki Weeden
General Manager,
The Sutherland Hospital & Garrawarra Centre
Submitted on 12/05/2021 at 09:39
Published on Care Opinion at 09:40

picture of Vicki Weeden

Dear dancehm57,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your experience at Sutherland Hospital. I was very disappointed to read of the incidents you describe.

Communication, especially between the medical and nursing teams, is vital for the safety and effective treatment of our patients.

I sincerely apologise to your partner for any distress caused by the issues they encountered with the morphine self-administration device.

Should your partner want a review of the treatment they received, I ask that they contact Ms Valmai Ciccarello, Consumer Feedback Manager on 9540 8523, or by email at

It would also be useful if the ward was identified so that feedback could be provided to the Nurse Unit Manager of the other incidents you mentioned.

We are committed to providing care of the highest quality to all our patients, and feedback from our consumers, provides opportunities to identify areas that may need improvement.

Once again, thank you for sharing your story with us.

Kind regards,

Vicki Weeden

General Manager

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

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