Conversations about NSW

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Help improve Australian healthcare! By sharing your health experiences and ideas, you can help consumer advocates and consumer organisations work for change that improves things for you, patients, carers, families and communities. 

  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Timing of appointments.

    <p>I am employed in building trades. We are expected work Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm. So coming to a day appointment means I lose half a day wages. Even the last appointment at 3: 30pm is unsatisfactory because my travelling time is greater than 30 minutes.</p><p>The obvious solution is to offer me an appointment late in the day,&nbsp;e.g, 4. 30pm/5pm. I was told that this is not possible with current work arrangements because the office is closed.</p><p>I was benefiting from the appointment, but I can no longer afford the loss of pay as my partner is having...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    My experience at the Emergency Dept.

    <p>Recently I was sent to the emergency department at Royal North Shore Hospital by my GP as my ultrasound report was not good and she was too worried for me to wait to see my regular specialist. Everyone from the triage nurse and other staff on duty, junior doctor treated me very well, apart from the main Gynaecology doctor who was the most important decision maker for me that day. I did not feel respected from her at all. She asked me questions so quickly that I did not have any time to think about the answers and she did not listen to me properly either. I didn't feel much at...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Drug Arm Australasia, Fairfield

    I feel like it's a safe space. It feels good to be heard and to get the knowledge and support. I'm grateful to Drug Arm. Drug Arm should be more publicised. It's not as well known as it should be...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Drug Arm was very caring

    I was very happy with Drug Arm support workers. They were very caring and non judgmental. I was able to open up with my story with them without feeling ashamed. I felt very supported by the workers.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Housing NSW - Customer Service

    <p>Hi There,</p><p>A quick note to acknowledge and thank the customer service lady named Natalie at the Family and Community Services Housing NSW West Ryde office. I do not often write notes of thanks but feel a young person deserves encouragement and acknowledgement in what can be a difficult role.</p><p>I popped in yesterday to organise for some information and applications to further assist my brother who I care for in his quest for housing which he so desperately needs. She was attentive, polite and helpful listening and caring in her approach. She genuinely...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I've recommended Drug Arm to my friends.

    I enjoy coming to my sessions and talking to the support workers. They've given me great feedback. I have better insight now into my problems. I've even recommended the service to my friends...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Volunteering at Drug Arm Fairfield

    I started a few weeks ago having completed the training but not quite knowing what to expect. Based on feedback from other volunteers as well as the team leader, I now understand what Carl Rogers person-centred counselling means in practice (acceptance, congruence, empathy, vocabulary, attention) and how to maintain this part of the Drug Arm culture. Each counselling session I see and hear what a difference showing unconditional regard makes to client's perceptions and beliefs...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Late night emergency staff rude, uncaring and unprofessional.

    <p>I suffered severe pain from Kidney stones and a slight rip to the Urethra so was transported to The Wagga Referral Hospital.</p><p>The pain was agonizing and all the staff dealing with me could do was seemingly&nbsp;squabble between the attending&nbsp;paramedics and the night staff as to whose responsibility it was when I stated that I needed to go to the ladies.</p><p>After that I was given Morphine which wasn't working, During this time I started being sick and was almost begging to get ice to sooth my throat from the continuous vomiting...no...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    No Aged Care, or ACAT Assessment

    For the past few months I have been trying to obtain an Aged Care Assessment for my mother, living alone at home. We need the assessment so that home care and residential care can be accessed. The assessment has not been done and I cannot access these services.<p>The doctor at Geriatric Medicine Wyong Hospital and our GP&nbsp;made assessments and requested the ACAT Assessment last year so that home help could be obtained, as heart medication wasn't being taken. I can't even register for residential accommodation without it.</p><p>When I called ACAT in recently...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Awestruck by the care my mother is receiving.

    <p>My mum is in her 90's, and is receiving palliative care at Baradine Hospital. As I am in QLD I get info from my brother regarding my mother.&nbsp;&nbsp; They are awestruck with the way my mother is treated and looked after. So thank you everyone involved.</p>...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    She gave us hope

    We had a great experience with this service. They gave us help to understand the situation and how the system works. Information provided was very helpful. Natalie had a lot of empathy and understanding of our situation and we really appreciated that. We were feeling hopeless and she gave us back hope. We are truly grateful and thankful.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Working with the homeless.

    <p>I work for West Ryde and would like to make particular mention of a staff member by the name of Ray. Ray is always polite and courteous to the people he works with. Even though he deals with people who live on the streets, who often haven't showered or washed their clothes he is non-judgmental and treats them with respect.</p>...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I can’t believe it. All my Christmases have come at once

    I have been homeless since July last year and have tried everywhere and everyone to get assistance with housing. Today I thought I’d give it another go, after been disappointed previously with other services. I contacted Mission Australia who put me into contact with Housing NSW. The office I attended was at West Ryde and was attended to by Natasha and Daniella. Two of the most wonderful, helpful ladies I have ever met. They were unrelenting in their pursuit to find me residency and in not even one day I have been provided with temporary accommodation with a view to permanent accommodation in...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    No cpap support during blackouts.

    Back early 2015 a storm occurred on the central coast area NSW about midnight. Trees blown over, no electricity for thousands of homes including mine. I called the ambulance because I did not know how long my air lasted. It was very cold. They arrived and checked my rates ect but I was concerned for my breathing. They transported me to Gosford hospital. No electricity for miles. I arrived, promptly told - no you can't stay. My cpap is supplied by Gosford hospital and support is also. I thought the doctor looked up to a monitor in the ceiling and laughed and said no beds available they...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    The Alfred Hospital

    I need clinic ambulance transport for a regular infusion as I am unable to drive post infusion. Several times now, the clinic ambulance vehicle, which is fully badged has been unable to access the ambulance bay at The Alfred Centre, or the Taxi bay or even the 5 minute drop off parking, even though the spaces are vacant, as the queue of cars waiting for car parking completely blocks the entrance to the hospital, if not a part of Commercial Rd as well. This afternoon, the closest parking spot the clinic transport could find was 100 metres away, which I struggled with, given the side effects of...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Meet and Greet Luncheon Hornsby NSW

    Another successful Meet and Greet Luncheon coordinated by Housing Services and held in Hornsby Park. A positive experience for all in attendance. I hope to see them continue in 2016.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Day surgery at Kareena Private Hospital

    Recently I underwent day surgery to release a pinched nerve in my calf at the Kareena Private Hospital in Caringbah. From arrival to departure, it was as pleasant as such an experience can be thanks to the friendly, helpful and caring treatment I received from an exemplary administration and nursing staff. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all and wish them all the best for the future.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Bad management at North Shore Private Hospital

    Recently my adult child was a patient at North Shore Private Hospital. There was an issue with an on duty doctor who was abusive and nurse who didn't seem to have any idea what they were doing. We expressed to the nursing unit manager that we wanted to make a complaint and either they didn't take us seriously or it was simply shrugged off. We later complained again to a nurse who we liked a lot. They seemed sympathetic and said that these things happen all the time but almost pleaded with us not to make a complaint. This nurse told us they believed that patients and staff who rock...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Our True Earth Angel

    Recently I had to go down to St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney to have brain surgery. I contacted Jean here in Hay Medicare Local Murrumbidgee. She organised my trip on Angel Flight and accommodation for my husband to stay whilst I was a patient in hospital. She is our true earth angel here in Hay and we could not have done it without her. She took our worries and concern and we thank her for the wonderful person she is...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I left feeling completely interrogated and invalidated

    I was diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) after a routine vaccination screen, and at the TB clinic, at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the doctor questioned me about the medications I take and the surgeries I'd had. I decided to be honest about taking testosterone and having had chest surgery and a hysterectomy. Bad move. It seemed to me that the doctor had no idea what I was talking about except to ask pointedly if I'd had genital surgery (irrelevant) and to ask me questions about my parent's reaction to me coming out as transgender. I left feeling completely interrogated and...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Reluctance to ever return to Armidale Hospital ED

    I attended ED in tears with severe pain around kidney area and nausea. I was eventually seen by the ED doctor and described symptoms. I told the doctor I had had a CT scan days earlier and they looked up the result of the CT scan. The doctor informed me that I did not have a kidney stone and I was probably suffering from depression. I was not depressed at the time - I was in severe pain. They suggested I see my own GP as they knew me better than the hospital did. The doctor gave me an injection for pain and sent me home. At no time did they do any urine test which would have shown I was...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I feel very supported

    Mighty Minds has been great for my child who is too young for Headspace. Their counsellor has assisted both my child and myself. Shes gives my child the tools they need to assist them in managing their anxiety, and me the skills to assist my child with anxiety as well as sleeping routines. I feel very supported, by a non-judging counsellor. Would be very disappointed if this service was stopped. My child loves to come to their sessions.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    A finger dislocated, is relocated again thanks to the emergency department at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

    I came into the RPA emergency room nursing a dislocated finger, luckily it was quiet and I was seen to within 15 minutes, I had to wait another 30 mins for some X-rays to be taken, and another 30 minutes before a doctor came to collect me and put me in another waiting room for an hour. I finally had my finger reset under anaesthetic and had to wait another hour to get X-rays and my arm cast in plaster.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Overuse syndrome of the arm and hand.

    I was born without my right (primary) forearm. I have worked as a bookkeeper using a computer all day at work. From the age of about 40 my left arm showed signs of being over it. Then progressively the pain became hand pain. My physiotherapist assisted me well with the arm and shoulder issues. When it came to the hand he was happy to refer me to a specialist hand physiotherapist. I received great advice there. The two changes which have made the greatest improvement for me are: Having an exercise ball next to me at work to use regularly to stretch the arm out and stretch the flat hand in a...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Short stay at Port Macquarie Base Hospital

    Early one Tuesday morning I was transported to Port Macquarie Emergency Department with severe back pain by ambulance. The two ambulance officers could not have been more caring and helpful more than I can say for the hospital staff. Was pumped with pain relief then transferred to another cubical after 4 hrs in same area as this is now regulations as you must be moved from emergency after 4 hrs. I expected that I would be x-rayed to see the extent of any damage to my back. To be informed by the 1st year medical student that it was not necessary to x-ray as it was only muscular. On questioning...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Patient Advocacy for Alzheimer's worked so well!

    My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in mid 2014. He had been showing symptoms for 6 months and I (an ex GP myself) had been pressing his GP for definitive testing with no real luck. In fact, the GP prescribed several Alzheimer's medications long before he consented to specific testing. During those 6 months we lost so many opportunities and made some bad decisions. We panicked and sold a very expensive house on a terrible market and lost a lot of equity (probably $1M+). Next we bought an apartment that turns out to be unsuitable for the medium term and will have to move again...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    My outreach worker and care coordinator are the greatest support

    My outreach worker Beth-Louise, and care coordinator Narelle are the greatest support and are caring. They have supported me throughout my journey through my illnesses and social issues. They assisted me with a Housing Dept. house. Beth-Louise and Narelle are informative and encourage me with stopping smoking and drinking. Beth-Louise has known me for some years and introduced me to Narelle. They are organising and assisting me to travel to Melbourne, with transport and accommodation. They are the best.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Outstanding level of care

    I've been seeing 3 health professionals over the past 3 years at the Camperdown Headspace and my health has significantly improved due to my own personal persistence, and the commitment, efforts, and sense of humour of my 'treatment team'. They're happy for me to work with me to try things out, ranging from different medicines to challenging my performance anxiety. I normally would not have sought out such support if hadn't been for a major relapse, but have been constantly rewarded by my own personal growth facilitated by their belief in me. Their reception has also...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Why am I paying for private health insurance but not being treated like a private patient?

    My GP recommended me to Shoalhaven Hospital for a procedure because he believed they deal better with diabetes than other hospitals. My GP took the time to carefully pick the doctor for my procedure. When I presented to the Shoalhaven Hospital I gave them my private health insurance membership card. I also saw a list that said private rooms were given as first to those who really needed their own room and second to privately insured patients. I was put in a room with 3 other people, one who I think, from the things I heard, had Golden Staph! I had keyhole surgery, which went on to then...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Poor communication skills at Westmead Public Hospital.

    I was in Westmead Public Hospital after hours and I felt the way the nursing staff I saw talk to people was appalling. I felt there was an atmosphere of fear and power imbalance between staff I saw over patients that were there. I was sent there by a GP for treatment and was told in what I felt was an aggressive tone by the triage nurse, no cardiologist is going to see you now, they're home with their family. It wasn't the words they said that was the issue but the tone & facial expression. I felt the staff member had such a facial expression of disdain, disgust for me the...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Help in every way from Murrumbidgee Medicare Local

    Annmaree is a coordinator with Murrumbidgee and I just wanted to say what great help she is. She helps in every way, and makes sure everything is right for me, all my medical needs and transport. She calls in just to check that I am ok, or she will call me to see if there is anything I need. She will sit there and communicate with me and the services I need. This is a fantastic service for where we are, and I cannot say enough about how marvelous they all are and the job they all do. I really appreciate what she does for me and can't thank her enough. I couldn't ask for anything...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Learnt alot!

    It was a very informative health programme, i.e. the little card given out about sugar, calories, fibre, etc. I learnt not to punish myself if I didn't do the right thing every day but to get back on track the next day. I lost about 4kg with not much of me missing out on things - but less sugar, less fat, more movement, more salads. So pleased I went...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Maitland Private Hospital Paterson Ward

    I highly commend the staff at Maitland Private Hospital Paterson Ward. This was my first stay in a private MH unit and I was very pleasantly surprised. The staff were caring, concerned and compassionate. They treated us like intelligent, autonomous, self-determining human beings. The atmosphere in the place was almost like a big family. The ward itself was good as well; the doors are not locked, patients have their own TV, you are allowed phones/iPods/laptops/related gadgets ... PRN medication is an option, not a compulsory treatment. In a nutshell, if the need arose, I would have no...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Day surgery at Private Hospital

    I was disappointed with the care I received at Maitland Private Hospital Day surgery. Prior to surgery, I did not have an opportunity to speak to the anaesthetist to let him know that I don't take anaesthetics well. When inserting the cannula, the nurse missed and went back for round two without any apology or giving me a breather before her next onslaught! After my surgery, I felt rushed out the door by staff. I indicated to them I was quite nauseated, to which the reply was, - Really? You only had a little anaesthetic. Would you like your sandwich now? I ducked to the loo before seeing...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    How an independent patient advocate made a huge difference to my health outcome.

    I was a client of Patient Advocate Sydney in late 2014. I have developed a need to be more informed about my health management. My advocate assisted me during a recent admission for a total hip replacement at a major Sydney teaching hospital (somewhere that you would expect state-of-the-art care.) as I am a single 70+ year old with no family living in Sydney. I’m in pretty decent health but some problems, not great medical language ability and often a bit intimidated by doctors. A friend of mine had used the advocate before. I would give the hospital 6/10. The anaesthetist did a pre-operation...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Wagga Base Lack of Communication

    My partner went in for surgery recently and all was good until after the surgery. He was told he was allowed to use crutches and be going to the toilet on his own. Sunday we were told he would be discharged Monday morning but by Sunday night a new nurse told him that he shouldn't be walking and that he was NBM as he may possibly be going in for further surgery which, to my recollection, the Doctor told us nothing about. When we questioned this, the nurse simply said well the other nurse must not know how to read. Monday morning came around and instead of being discharged they told my...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Professional, Supportive Staff at Wagga Applied Psychology Service.

    Incredibly professional, supportive and friendly staff. The psychologist was incredibly helpful, providing strategies and counselling that helped me to better cope with GAD and panic attacks (particularly helpful when these would impact my studies). What I have gained from these sessions has been invaluable! And have always felt like I'm being listened to and treated with dignity...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Pensioner specialist visit too expensive

    My mother had her knee replaced around 6 years ago. Her other knee is bad now and her doctor referred her to the same specialist. She went to see him. He saw her for around 10 min and then he told her he couldn't help her as he no longer works with the public hospital doing knee replacements. And that she would have to go back to her GP. And for this she was charged $230. She received $70 back from Medicare. Why was it not mentioned when she made the appointment that the doctor no longer provides this service to public patients - that he is out of the scheme. Why after reading the...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I like coming to Wagga Applied Psychology Service

    Took a long time to get booked in! ! ! My psychologist was changed during treatment! ! ! The staff are friendly, professional and polite at all times. I like coming here, I get good advice. I wish that I had more sessions available each year as I have issues relating back to childhood and that was awhile ago.Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Disappointed in the care at hospital.

    My dad was unwell and in hospital and he felt nauseous. I tried to get him a bag to throw up in but could not find any in any of the rooms. He started throwing up so I did my best to sit him up and vomit over the side of the bed but he did get it all over himself. I was ringing the bell, and had been for a while, and the gent in the bed next to dad was ringing his as well. We tried calling out but there did not seem to be any response. As I was worried dad might inhale his own vomit, the man in the bed next to dad managed to get himself out of bed and into the ward and call for help...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Poor handling of mental health crisis at RPA emergency department

    My suicidal friend presented at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital's emergency department on the recommendation of a mental health crisis team and the situation was poorly handled by the intake staff. We were told that there was no psychiatrists available (apparently this was not the case) and he was told that he could leave if he wished. It might sound like a small thing to say but given that it can take a lot for someone to seek help it should have been dealt with more seriously. People know if they haven't been sectioned that they have the option to leave. I suspect that no one with a...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Wonderful, informative care received at Nepean Hospital.

    I was recently transferred by ambulance from Katoomba Hospital to Nepean Hospital for emergency surgery. My gratitude begins with the surgery team led by Dr David. Prior to my operation, Dr David informed me of what was involved in a most professional and caring way with particular emphasis on respecting my dignity as a human being. This kind surgeon also gave my family progress reports during and after the operation. Thank you Dr David. As an educator of many years I am deeply in favour of the process of mentorship. During my stay at Nepean Hospital I constantly witnessed best practices in...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Angel Fight terrific!

    I am an old aged pensioner, I was transported from Hay to Sydney for cancer treatment. The Angel Flight organised by the staff at the Hub in Hay was just terrific as past trips to Sydney have been a disaster. The most recent disaster was missing the bus hookup with the train. The trip took 24 hours from Hay to Sydney. The Angel Flight was so welcome. With ThanksRead more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Was the advice regarding my grandmother ignored prior to her discharge from Royal North Shore Hospital.

    I recently witnessed my grandmother be forcibly restrained and dragged kicking and screaming into an ambulance. It was distressing for me and it seemed, extremely distressing for her. How she came to be in this situation is a story that I can only believe is one, of woeful incompetence or wilful arrogance. My grandmother was admitted to Royal North Shore suffering from seizures brought about by hypernatraemia. Having suffered this brain injury she was incoherent and exhibiting markedly different behaviours than she ever had previously. Prior to her admission she was cognitively very highly...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    I believe a delay in care has left me legally blind.

    I went to my Dr for a problem with my sight, a shadow in my peripheral vision and a heavy uncomfortable feeling. It seemed that he just dismissed it with "your having a bad day". I then went to two ophthalmologist that where nearby but the receptionist in both would not let me see them unless I had a referral. Then went to my optometrist but he examined me and did a retinal photo which I discovered later only shows a small area centrally no dilation of my pupil and said I believe, that it was cataract and after what seemed to be much debating about his diagnosis he agreed to give me...Read more
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