This is Care Opinion [siteRegion]. Did you want Care Opinion [usersRegionBasedOnIP]?

"Recent experience at A&E"

About: Central Gippsland Health Sale Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I woke with pain one morning recently, it was obvious it needed attention. I contacted my local GP, was advised to go to A & E. He would immediately send information to A & E re my condition, suggesting that I will require urgent scans etc.

I live with my husband of 50+ years. He has been diagnosed with Metastatic Melanomas in both lungs, has had surgery, poor prognosis, no treatment available due to mutation.

On arrival at A & E, I went to the front desk, confirmed details, explained the pain and discomfort I was feeling, asked if there was somewhere that I could lay down, too much pain to sit, I advised that GP had sent referral information.

I was told to take a seat and wait for Triage Nurse.

After 15 - 20 mins I was called by the Triage Nurse, explained the situation, was told to take a seat, again I requested somewhere to lay down. I was told to take a seat, no bed available.

My husband is quiet, very respectful of any medical person & would normally not question their decision.

On this occasion he asked if it would be OK for him to our bring car close to door, lay seat back, leave his mobile phone number, if the nurse could call when it was my turn.

He went on to explain that I would not ever push in ahead of others. Nurse said, they would not call him and I wasn't going anywhere.

After standing and leaning against the wall for about 10 mins, I slid down the wall to the floor. I was able to angle myself to a position that was more bearable.

There were others waiting in A & E.

Eventually I was called in to a room for consultation. I was given very good care by a professional, respectful surgical team.

After scans and other investigations, I had urgent, major surgery later that day.

I was most concerned about my husband's palliative condition.

I felt shocked, not about the surgery as much as the extraordinary, confronting, experience in A & E.

There was no respect for age or condition, no dignity.

I recovered well from surgery.

My husband is far less confident about the road ahead for him, given this experience.

I mentioned this story to a couple of hospital employees, thoughts were, with reduction in bulk billing A & E is used for GP visits.

Not much that they could do about it.

Still concerned, I made contact with the Member for Gippsland, not to complain, but to discuss hospital funding, hoping that situation does not happen to others.

Over coffee, he listened, was considerate etc. , not sure that it would make any difference.

This situation should not happen, not now, not ever.

Tags added by staff members:
Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Central Gippsland Health 7 years ago
Frank Evans
Chief Executive Officer,
Central Gippsland Health
Submitted on 6/09/2016 at 8:03 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 11:46 AM

picture of Frank Evans

Dear "questioning hospital funding"

I was very distressed to read your story. I am very sorry that your experience with our health service was such a distressing one for both you and your husband.

We are currently conducting an investigation into what you have told us and I will get back to you to let you know what we have learnt.

If you would like to contact me to discuss your story with me or if I can be of any assistance to your husband, please contact me on 0351438660 or email

Once again I am very sorry for experience with us.

Kind regards


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful
Response from Frank Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Central Gippsland Health 7 years ago
We have made a change
Frank Evans
Chief Executive Officer,
Central Gippsland Health
Submitted on 13/10/2016 at 8:46 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 10:01 AM

picture of Frank Evans

Dear "questioning hospital funding"

Thank you for making contact with me and for your patience whilst I have been on leave.

I want to assure you that we are very concerned and also disappointed with ourselves for what happened to you in our Emergency Department (ED).

We are committed to preventing any similar experiences from occurring in the future. We let you down and we are very sorry.

A large number of our current improvement efforts have a focus on our ED. These improvements are many and varied, including upgrading our physical facilities and implementing processes to improve the initial patient assessment (triage).

We have implemented a range of improvements to reduce the ED's workload and enable patients to be seen more quickly, including:

* establishing a paediatric short stay unit;

* enabling direct admission from our GP rooms to hospital, thereby bypassing ED;

* direct admission from ED to Hospital in the Home; and

* recruiting more senior and experienced clinical staff.

We are also trialling the use of a paging system (like a bistro pager), so that patients only need to be within a couple of hundred meters of the ED to receive a page to let them know that their wait is over.

These improvements are important, but they will likely be inadequate if we are not communicating effectively and living our values. In this regard we are working to improve our communication across all areas of our health service, involving every one of us. This will be a major project and investment for our health service and it will have an ongoing aspect to it.

Thank you again for telling us about your experience, for making contact with me and for your time over the phone. Thank you also for the friendly and understanding manner in which you communicated your concerns.

Please don't hesitate to contact me on 0351438660 or email if there is anything you wish to discuss or clarify further.

Kind Regards


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by Questioning hospital funding (the patient)

Thank you to Patient Opinion for the opportunity to tell my story.

It has enabled a very positive outcome for myself and family, changing what was an uncomfortable and frightening experience to one that has bought about many positive improvements that will benefit ourselves and our community.

The response from CEO Frank Evans was immediate, sensitive and caring.

Many thanks to all.


Next Response j
Previous Response k