Providing high-quality health care is Matilda Hospital’s priority

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2016, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2016, 4:45pm

I refer to your editorial, “Private hospitals must be monitored” (May 31).

As chief executive officer of Matilda International Hospital, I agree that “transparency is very important”. It lies at the core of building strong hospital-patient relationships and delivering high-quality health care, which is Matilda’s priority.

In order to ensure good practice and transparency, we have many levels of reporting and verification systems in place. For example, the hospital abides by the Code of Practice for Private Hospitals set out by the Department of Health. We were one of the first private hospitals to adopt clinical governance for clinical and medical effectiveness. Our internal programmes focus on constantly improving the quality of information sourced and communicated, promoting collaboration, enhancing transparency through a process of open disclosure, and building consistency in our practices. We benchmark ourselves against the highest international standards and, importantly, are strict in using evidence-based tools to enhance skills and best practice.

Your editorial does not discuss any of Matilda’s standard practices, but refers to the specifics of an individual patient’s case. We have strict privacy controls, so cannot comment on patients. However, I want to describe the steps the hospital undertook upon being notified of the patient’s infection. We immediately notified the Department of Health and are working together closely to ensure a thorough investigation. At the same time, as a matter of standard practice, we began our own investigation, bringing in an independent microbiologist and doctors in the community.

Our efforts are not only focused on understanding the source of the patient’s infection, but also on communicating these findings to everyone involved. Hospital staff, our leadership team and I, have spoken with patients and families who have been at the hospital recently to let them know of the situation and the steps that we and the Department of Health are taking. We are also talking to patients currently in our hospital and those due to attend in the coming weeks. We have regular contact with our patient community through personal communication and updates on our website and social media. We are communicating with the government, media, staff and all those concerned to ensure that accurate information is freely shared.

Safety and patient health are our paramount concerns and we take the feedback and concerns of our patients extremely seriously. We will continue to work closely with the authorities and pledge to keep all parties updated of developments on a timely basis.

Linda Burgoyne, chief executive officer, Matilda International Hospital