"Triage process for transfer between hospitals"

About: Bunbury Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

When transferring from one hospital to another surely there must be a better way.

My husband presented to our local hospital, but his condition was beyond them, so we had to go to Bunbury Regional Hospital. They gave him some medication before the transfer.

The hospital was notified, but when we got there we still had to be triaged. When I questioned a nurse why we had to be triaged again, they said this is the way it is. We had to wait an hour before being triaged again and the chairs were very hard and uncomfortable, and my husband was in quite a deal of pain.

Nearly 3 hours later, we were still waiting to be seen and by this time my husband was in total agony. I had to ask for more pain relief.

In my opinion, this is totally disgusting. I believe you should not have to go through triage when already triaged at the local hospital .

When I asked what the delay was, I was told there were no beds available.

We asked about going to the nearby private hospital as we have full private health insurance, but were told that that was not an option - no reason was given.

Finally, my husband was diagnosed many hours later and transferred by ambulance to a metropolitan hospital for life-saving surgery. Any further delay would have been disastrous.

I believe this should have been handled a lot better and with less stress on the patient and family.


Response from Jan Cook, Operations Manager Coastal Hospital, WACHS South West 2 years ago
Jan Cook
Operations Manager Coastal Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 26/04/2018 at 09:19
Published on Care Opinion at 09:21

picture of Jan Cook

Dear TriageMR68,

Thank you for your feedback about Bunbury Hospital.

I am sorry to hear that your expectations were not meant.

At times there are delays to being seen in the emergency department due to other sicker patients however a three hour delay does seem excessive.

We would like to follow-up and review what occurred to your husband so that we can provide you with answers and also improve our processes.

Would you please call Dr Geoff Williamson Deputy Director of Medical Services on 9722 1426 so that we can discuss this further with you.

You commented about the second triage at Bunbury and why this occurred. We are governed by a Clinical Practice Standard.

This to ensure that we identify if the patient’s condition has changed since they had been at a previous hospital.

This is a normal practice at all emergency departments.

The reason why you couldn’t be transferred to the nearby private hospital is that emergency admissions come through the Bunbury Hospital Emergency Department first as the private hospital does not have an emergency department.

Once the Bunbury Hospital Emergency Department doctors have reviewed your husband they could have called a private doctor to have your husband admitted to the private hospital if this was the most appropriate place for your husband to be admitted.

I do hope that your husband is recovering well.

I apologise for the stress this has caused you and your husband and again offer to speak with you to address your questions more fully.

Yours sincerely

Jan Cook

A/Operations Manager

Bunbury Hospital

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