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#26 Mel_Mac

Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:49 PM

Actually, even though it wouldn't entirely resolve the issue they certainly could/should have provided patients with the option of an information session/meeting to allow us to ask any questions, and give consistant answers.  At least that way they would have alleviated the numerous individual queries be it via phone or email they will receive this way.

#27 mia7

Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:53 PM

Hi Again

In relation to the ward on Level 4 - a friend of mine's Mum was on that floor a few weeks ago following knee surgery.  She was a public patient so my understanding is that it is usually a public surgical ward.

I'll let you know how I go with mbf.

#28 Mel_Mac

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:12 PM

From website: Calvary Private Hospital

Private Hospital

Calvary Private Hospital is situated in a bush land setting on the north side of the nation's capital, Canberra, ACT.

It is a modern healthcare service complex comprising an 95-bed Private Hospital consisting of:

Maternity Unit
Day Surgery Unit
Medical and Surgical Unit
Private Mental Health Unit-Hyson Green
Calvary Clinic which provides consulting suites for Specialists.
The Private Hospital is fully accredited by the Australian Council of Health Services and regularly undergoes interim reviews to maintain its accreditation.

The Private Hospital is operated by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. The Little Company of Mary was founded in England by the Venerable Mary Potter, on an offer of hope and significance for the sick and dying. It is this hope and significance that permeates our health facilities and prompts so many people to comment on the special atmosphere of peace and compassion they sense there.

The Private Hospital provides an extensive range of inpatient care. These include specialist services in the following areas: Anaesthetics, Calvary at Home, Cardiology, Dental, Ear, Nose and Throat, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, General Medicine, General Surgery, Gynaecology, Head and Neck Surgery, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Plastics, Respiratory, Rheumatology, Urology, Vascular. The Hospital has plans to introduce Oncology services in the near future.

The Private Day Surgery Unit comprises state of the art theatres and 10 day only recovery beds. Day only admissions cover a range of minor procedures which allow the patient to be cared for in the best possible manner by highly qualified staff, allowing them to return to their home environment on the day of surgery, to continue a safe and speedy recovery.

The Private Maternity Unit has 17 beds - all of which are single rooms with some rooms having a double bed, which allows partners to stay as well. The Maternity Unit supports 'rooming in' for healthy mothers and babies. The Unit also provides a number of programs including Parent Preparation Classes, Breast Feeding Classes, Elective Caesarean Birth and Refresher Classes as well as a Private Midcall Service for healthy babies and mothers who choose to leave hospital early.

The Medical and Surgical Units each has 21 beds, the majority of which are single rooms. These units provide a wide range of medical and surgical services.

Hyson Green is a modern 20 bed mental health facility, offering premier facilities including single rooms, single rooms with an ensuite, executive suite accommodation and a separately designed post natal depression suite. There are also consulting rooms, large dinning and lounge rooms, therapy rooms and recreational facilities.

So reading that there appear to be only two options if it is part of the private hospital.  

1: We are in the 10 bed day surgery only ward.
2: We are in the 21 bed medical and surgical with 10 allocated to maternity?

See, so many questions!

#29 jckalilvi

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:17 PM

Loved the snippet from your letter Mel... well said... can't wait to see what reply you get!

I may have heard wrong but when I attended that csect class the other day I was under the impression from what was discussed that public and private are going to be bunking in together! There were public & private patients attending that class and at no time was it mentioned otherwise!!

#30 mia7

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:30 PM

Rrrrr.........no joy!

I just spoke to my Health Fund MBF and essentially they can't do anything.  Their agreement with the hospital is that they will provide private accommodation, if available, (those being the key words) and that if renovations mean that private rooms are unavailable, the hospital can still charge for private facilities and mbf will still pay and so will I.

It drives me nuts to think that I pay good health premiums (basically for having babies in a private hospital) and then I'm going to pay a $500 excess as I walk in the door only to be treated the same as a public patient who hasn't paid anything.  Sorry if that sounds a bit snobby!Mel - I'm with you - I have a phobia about sharing a room.  I want peace and privacy at this time - I want my own bathroom so that I can deal with whatever it is that I need to in private.  I want a room where I'm not worried whether the TV is on too loud or too late, where I'm not worried about my baby waking someone else's or vice versa, where I can deal with any feeding or baby blues issues in private, where I'm not worried about visitors bothering my 'roomie' and where my 2 year old can come and spend time with me and her new sibling without worrying that I am disturbing someone else!

I'm just hating this!

#31 ~mimo~

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:35 PM

where my 2 year old can come and spend time with me and her new sibling without worrying that I am disturbing someone else!
EXACT same reason I chose to go private.

I agree with everything you just said! lol

#32 Mel_Mac

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:46 PM

As do I Mia, as do I!!

In fact the reality is those are the primary reasons most women CHOOSE private!!  You can have an ob through the public system (you have to pay obviously) but the point is when you choose to be a private patient you are doing so primarily for the PRIVACY!!

And I am a snob also, and will admit this, but as I've said before I am PAYING for the priviledge of being one you know!

#33 mia7

Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:04 PM


I think I'm becoming obssessed!

Anyway......just got a message from my friend who had a call back from Calvary.  They tried to tell her that a lot wasn't really going to change (Are you kidding me??) and that apparently they are having an Emergency Executive meeting tomorrow.  I have been madly typing out my email complaint to send in - in the hope that it gets read and at least there is a possibiltiy that some of my views may get taken into account (or at least added to the masses!)

#34 Mel_Mac

Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:10 PM

Emergency Executive meeting tomorrow

Tee hee - but nothing much is going to change right so why would they need this?  laughing2.gif

#35 ~Sorceress~

Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:33 PM

See, if you're serious about being a birthing elitist, you'll pay the $5000 for a private homebirth Tounge1.gif !

#36 mia7

Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:37 PM

Bit late now - (and unfortunately not an option given that I am high risk!)   cry1.gif

#37 Shadowess

Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:54 PM

Mel, just wanted to quickly say, that WRT the gap, we didn't pay any gaps at all. Just our excess, and the anthestists bill. Dr D has a no-gap agreement with the PHI companies.

Hope that this whole situation doesn't turn out to be as bad as what you're all anticipating.. although I'm not entirely sure how that won't happen. I'm with you guys, I really valued my private room, and own bathroom.. there's no way I could have shared..


#38 Mel_Mac

Posted 04 September 2007 - 05:23 PM

See, if you're serious about being a birthing elitist, you'll pay the $5000 for a private homebirth  !

Well, yes in Canberra sure, but if you were elsewhere it wouldn't be $5000 would it  grin.gif  If you add up our PHI over the last 2 years it's equivilant to that anyway right!  Hence the annoyance here.

#39 chat

Posted 04 September 2007 - 06:22 PM

I think I'm becoming obssessed!

Haha Welcome to EB Mia dev (6).gif

Plenty of things around here to become obsessed with. Don't get me started laughing2.gif  You'll be hooked soon enough.......

#40 mia7

Posted 05 September 2007 - 09:04 AM

Hi All

I sent off some feedback to Calvary yesterday and was quite surprised to find a repsonse back this morning.  I have attached below sections of both my email and the response from Sue McKee.

I understand that this is probably one email in what I would anticipate is a deluge of emails you will have received following the advice sent out to maternity patients regarding the renovations proposed at Calvary hospital.  I would like to set out at the start that none of my frustrations are levelled at you personally and that I understand the need for renovations to be undertaken at the hospital and that this will provide benefits to future women who chose to deliver at Calvary, my issue stems from the manner in which this has been managed and the timing of advice given to maternity patients.

I will address each of my concerns below.

1.  The timing of this announcement has been handled with what must be bordering on incompetence. My understanding form talking to others about this issue is that the communication channels were quite poor internally, as well as externally to patients, and I understand that this announcement and the associated feedback you are likely to receive between now and when the renovations are completed is likely to be sizeable and very difficult on the staff involved.  That said, to notify maternity patients, four weeks prior to renovations occurring is certainly not acceptable.  A timeframe of four weeks notification for surgical or other hospital patients may be a practice that would be acceptable but I feel that maternity patients have a unique set of circumstances both pre and post natal that require a more sensitive approach.  

I went to a pre-admission appointment a little over a month ago and no mention was made of the potential for any disruptions.  I also saw my obstetrician a fortnight ago and again no mention was made of this issue.  The first I knew of the potential for any disruption to my post natal care was the letter I received yesterday.  At this point in pregnancy, I am not in a position to be able to change my plans, albeit it is very tempting to try and make other arrangements.  

I am sure that a decision in regards to the timing of the renovations was made months ago, while the decision to undertake the renovations was probably budgeted for and indicative timings and costings discussed almost a year ago.  The possibility that this would be occurring should have been communicated to all potential patients (and their health care providers) months ago so that we had the opportunity to make informed decisions about our care.

2.  I made the decision to deliver my baby at Calvary based on the facilities that were outlined to me.  One of the key factors being the guarantee of a private room, as well as the encouragement for partners to stay with the mother, which is of extreme importance to me.  I must be honest in admitting that one of my primary concerns is whether or not I will receive a private room and as I currently understand it, partners will be unable to stay where patients are allocated a shared room.  The thought of this distresses me.  I pay private health premiums (and will be required to fork out a large hospital excess as I walk in the door) for facilities that I am not guaranteed and which I had anticipated I would receive.

Again, via information shared by other concerned maternity patients, I understand that the likelihood of a private room, given the number of rooms allocated in the temporary ward, is low when the anticipated number of patients is considered.

I chose Calvary Private and pay my Private Health Insurance premiums because I value and am willing to pay a premium for privacy.  I want privacy during this important stage in my and my family's life.  I want my own room so that I can deal with any issues I have post natally (whether that be in relation to establishing feeding, medical issues concerning my own recovery or just adjusting to the latest stage in my life as a mother) in private.  I don't want to be concerned as to whether my actions or that of my newborn (or my 2 year old daughter) are disturbing someone in the next bed.  I am also concerned that if I am sharing I will be without the constant support of my partner, who would be unable to stay with me overnight.   That is a very large concern for me.

3. The letter that was sent out to patients did not provide the level of information or assurances needed to allay the fears that people in my position are naturally bound to have in these circumstances.  I did not understand what was meant by assistance with nappies and cleaning.  If there is to be some form of compensation or assistance provided for the disruption then it would have been very beneficial to make this clear or if the current processes are still being worked through to state this and give a timeframe for when additional information would be provided.  As it stands in the letter, it lacked clarity and this could be a way that would provide some measure of reassurance for mothers who are in a low risk category and likely to be able to go home early.

I am also interested as to whether the Level 4 ward that will be the temporary maternity wing will be for private and public patients or just private patients and whether in it's other life, this ward is usually a designated part of the private hospital.  I ask this question simply because I want to know that what I am paying good money for, is what I will be receiving.

I think that further information should be provided to maternity patients about their care during this period, including the opportunity to tour the temporary facilities.  

4.  I am also concerned that women will be actively encouraged to go home before they feel they are ready, particularly given the issues anticipated with the number of beds.  Certainly if I was sharing a room, I would be keen to return to the comfort and privacy of my own home a lot sooner but I wouldn't want my own care or that of my child's to be compromised because I either felt pressured to leave (whether due to my own feelings or the indirect encouragement of my carers).  Following the birth of my first child I stayed at Calvary for five days, I needed all of this time to establish feeding and to recover from what was a difficult birth (which ended with an emergency c section) for both myself and my child and I certainly needed the full support of my partner, particularly during the first few nights, to get through what was a difficult time.

5.  I have been in contact with my Health Insurance Fund concerning what the will be charged for (and thus I will be paying for) compared to what I will receive.  I currently anticipate a mismatch.  They are following up on this issue for me and I intend to follow it through to its logical conclusion, whatever that may be.  

One option that I understand is fairly routine in other states is the use of hotel facilities for post natal women to recover and recuperate in.  One Melbourne hospital has an arrangement with the Park Hyatt hotel, whereby a floor of the hotel is utilised by low risk post natal women for recovery in the event of an overflow at the hospital.  I think, if not already considered, this option should be looked into by Calvary as a matter of priority.

The news of the renovations and the likely impact this will have on my post natal care has left me extremely concerned, disappointed at the way things have been managed and to be perfectly frank, very angry.  I hope that further information will be provided to patients who are potentially going to be impacted by this and that a more acceptable resolution found.  This was certainly not the sort of issue I thought I would be worried about in the lead up to the birth of my child.

I again reiterate that my frustration is not directed at you personally.  I understand that in the long run this will provide future benefits to women who deliver at Calvary but presently that rates very low on my list given that I will not be one who reaps any benefits from this inconvenience.

I look forward to your response.

The response:

Thank you for your feedback

1.  You are correct we have been planning to renovate for some time however timing to have all the stars aligned - budget approval,Contractors, bed availability in other areas of the hospital unfortunately does make notification short

2.  we have reviewed our strategy in relation to accommodation  of the post natal area and will be accommodating the postnatal women on the private surgical floor, this means greater access to private rooms

3.  further correspondence including frequently asked questions and answers will be sent in the next few days.  

4.  Women will be discharged when their obstetrician is happy that they are ready.  We did consider the option of a "Medi Hotel" as they have in Victoria however the licensing and insurance issues made this an unviable option

Again thanks for your feedback, I do hope the above information and future correspondence helps. I do apologise for any distress we may have caused

#41 Mel_Mac

Posted 05 September 2007 - 09:27 AM

Mia - your email is fantastic!  But, I have to be honest and say yet again Sue (Calvary) has barely addressed your concerns.  The reality is she has given you NO assurances that you will recieve your own room, because quite simply, they know we won't.  

I was at my book club last night and one of the girls there is due in November. She is a public patient and she got the same letter advising they will also be on level 4.  Naturally she was totally unphased because at the end of the day she has not been paying, or expecting her own room.

As for the hotel having insurance liabilities and the like -hmmmm, I am sure all they would need to do is speak with their interstate counterparts and health fund providers to tidy these issues up.  We pay enough and we know they charge our health funds enough to compensate for these issues.

I am still waiting on a response to my email  laughing2.gif  ph34r.gif  It's my 3rd so maybe I am now toted as a 'difficult' patient - ROFL original.gif

Interesting to see what additional information and FAQ we will recieve, and when.  Each day the clock is ticking and there is less and less it appears we can do sad.gif

On a personal note, how did you feel about that response?

#42 Nut

Posted 05 September 2007 - 09:51 AM

That response was a bit... vague...  blink.gif

#43 Mel_Mac

Posted 05 September 2007 - 09:58 AM

Nic - that's half the issue I think.  ALL the responses are like that.  Pinning someone down for an answer is nigh on impossible sad.gif

#44 jckalilvi

Posted 05 September 2007 - 11:14 AM

I thought the response was pretty poor mad.gif !

3. further correspondence including frequently asked questions and answers will be sent in the next few days.

Cannot wait to see what they have to say!!

#45 mia7

Posted 05 September 2007 - 11:28 AM


I agree with you all - very vague.  The only positives I got from it (and they are cold comfort) was - someone actually took the time to reply and that further information will be provided (although I'm intrigued as to what that will be). I'm hoping that there has been enough backlash to have them rethink their strategy.  I would love to be at the Executive meeting today.

I have a VBAC class (just in case I manage to avoid a c section) in the morning so I'll be interested to see what is said there.


#46 Mel_Mac

Posted 05 September 2007 - 11:53 AM

I was pleased to get my first response from them too but then as I thought about it I guess It dawned on me how unsatisfactory the response actually was (hence the additional emails).  

Yes, it will be very interesting to see what comes of this meeting today.  I guess it makes me wonder if these so called FAQ and more information has been sent or only drafted, and if today's meeting will impact or delay any of our queries further.

#47 ~mimo~

Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:02 PM

Sandra (boss from Antenatal clinic) may be able to answer some questions, but not sure.

Any classes from 2 Oct will be held in the meeting rooms at the Antenatal Clinic.

Agree though, response was very vague, but great email Mia.

Mel, as you are so "difficult" tongue.gif if you want me ask Sue some questions just let me know. happy.gif

#48 mia7

Posted 06 September 2007 - 01:25 PM

Hi All

Some additional information from this morning.  

Public patients will now be relocated to Level 4 and private patients to Level 6.  There will be 10 single rooms and 2 shared rooms.  There are 2-3 rooms that will have a double bed moved into them but unfortunately the remaining rooms are too small.  It was also confirmed that further information would be sent out to patients by the end of the week.

None of the public patients at my session had even received letters regarding the renovations.  But they didn't seem to phased by it all.......

#49 jckalilvi

Posted 06 September 2007 - 01:33 PM

well... i am glad they have had a rethink about the bedding/ward situation, still not the ideal though is it??

i cannot believe that the public patients had not received any notification about the rennos at all ... that is just rude!! whether i was private or public i would still like to be informed of what is going on!

Edited by stayathomemum, 06 September 2007 - 01:43 PM.

#50 Nut

Posted 06 September 2007 - 01:38 PM

I guess with the number of complaints they have no doubt received they have no choice but to rethink the set up.

They can't expect people to spend all this money for a service that they will not provide...

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