"Recent experience at A&E"
Posted by Questioning hospital funding (as ),
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.