Providing a Safe Patient Environment

At Auckland Radiation Oncology, our goal is to provide the best possible care for our patients. We know having radiation therapy treatment is often an emotionally and physically challenging time for our patients and their loved ones.
To support patients during their treatment, we make every effort to maintain the highest level of patient safety. Since the opening of ARO in 2008 we have safely treated over 7000 patients. We would like to say we have a perfect safety record but the incident described below did happen under our care.  We have a strict protocol to continuously review our systems and processes, and promptly introduced changes to ensure this type of incident would not happen again.

In August 2014, a 66 year old man undergoing palliative radiation treatment to his spine for secondary prostate cancer received a larger dose of radiation than planned. As a result of this he developed skin ulceration and localised pain that impeded his activity and quality of life.

Extensive internal and independent external investigations and reviews of practice carried out following the discovery of this incident have confirmed that this was a one off event and no other patient has been affected. The incident occurred despite the systems and checks that were in place at the time. Subsequently further checks and systems have been implemented to ensure the safety of all patients. At every opportunity ARO has expressed their deep concern and heartfelt apologies for this incident to the patient and his family and have offered support where required. We continue to feel very deeply for them and all that they have gone through.

At ARO, providing a safe and trusted environment for our patients is important to us. To help us monitor the level of care we deliver we ask all patients for their feedback. One hundred percent of patients say they would recommend ARO to friends and family in need of radiation therapy in the future (ARO Patient Survey Jan-July 2017).
Patient survey comments (July 2017) include:
“An incredibly supportive environment that made an unpleasant situation a pleasurable one.”
“The team was exceptional. The standard of care was excellent and they made it personal and provided a very large silver lining to what is a crappy thing to have to do.”
“I was extremely impressed with the overall efficiency and personal, friendly treatment given by all the staff at ARO. They were all very professional but at the same time very approachable. I cannot think of any ways to improve this excellent service.”
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