The patient was brought in by an ambulance for bike-related injuries. We waited for 2 hours before being seen. The nurse who took notes from the patient asked what time the accident happened and when she noted there was a 3. 5-hour delay before being seen, she asked why we took so long. We were gobsmacked as we assumed the admission notes would have highlighted the time and nature of injuries.
The evening went past in a blur with tests and scans done by the doctor. When we were discharged, we were told to keep an eye out for symptoms to be concerned about.
It is only now we're home for a day that we realised we haven't a medical certificate for the patient's workplace. When I called the hospital, I was transferred twice before getting to the right department. When I spoke to the staff at health records, I was told to either wait 3 to 4 weeks for the original treating doctor to write the certificate or visit a GP with the emergency notes to gain the certificate. Because we don't have a regular GP, I requested to pick up or have the notes emailed to me and given to the GP. I was told either I went through a lengthy process - with the patient in tow - to sign off on receiving the records or I got a doctor confirmed for the records to be faxed to.
If someone can be in our shoes, I'm sure they will be asking the following questions as well -
* Why did the nurse pose the question of our delay to be seen to us? Where did the communication about a patient - with a bike-related injury, in extreme pain around the chest area, with a blood condition and possible head trauma - get lost?
* Why was the medical certificate not offered by the treating doctor when we were discharged, to save us this trouble (and literally, pain) now? It's not like the patient is in any good shape to move anywhere, much less a GP, to get the certificate.
* To be told by staff as we were transferred from department to department that we should remember to ask for the relevant documents before being discharged. I'm pretty sure that's the least of our concerns and certainly not something we practice towards every day.
"More communication is needed."
About: Ipswich Hospital / Emergency Department Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department Ipswich 4305
Posted by Be in our shoes (as ),