No-show, no excuses

A mental health service provider has unreservedly apologised to a Traralgon couple following what it says was a breakdown in communication.

Michelle Chalker sees a Mind Australia support worker for about one hour and a half each week, to help her get out of the house and talking to more people.

But in the two or so years Mrs Chalker has been a Mind Australia client, she can recall three separate occasions in which there’s been a no-show and no prior warning.

“They don’t ring me to say if my support worker’s away or she’s sick and it’s just ridiculous,” Mrs Chalker said.

“It makes me angry, upset, frustrated.

“They say, ‘oh, sorry, it won’t happen again’, but it has happened again and I’m sick of it.”

Mrs Chalker said if she was informed the support worker could not turn up, she could plan another activity such as visiting a friend, her mum or going down the street.

Her husband, Phillip, said he was often left to “pick up the pieces” when Mind Australia did not let Michelle know an appointment had been cancelled.

“When she’s upset, ‘oh the case worker’s not here again’, she’s not having a go at the case worker, because it’s the company’s fault,” Mr Chalker said.

Mind Australia chief executive Gerry Naughtin said the organisation had conducted a thorough investigation into the Chalkers’ complaint and concluded there had been a breakdown in communication.

“Mind unreservedly apologises to Mrs Chalker and her husband for their experience,” Mr Naughtin said.

“Recommendations made as part of the investigation have now been actioned and will be reviewed regularly to ensure clients receive timely communications regarding changes to their appointments.”

Mr Chalker questioned how many other clients were left unaware of cancelled appointments and said he wanted to see action rather than receive apologies.

Mr Naughtin said Mind Australia clients were the organisation’s priority and the team would continue supporting Mrs Chalker.

“Our team looks forward to working with and continuing to support Mrs Chalker,” he said.