"Emergency Department"

About: Bunbury Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

Recently we brought our baby to emergency at 11pm after our 9 month old experienced breathing difficulties. Once we had been seen at triage we waited in the waiting area for an hour and a half. My baby had no obs done after an initial pulse rate and oxygen check. At around 12.30 we were taken into the emergency area and given a bed. After another hour a nurse did another basic obs. Pulse/blood pressure. At no time was our baby checked for a rash or even had their temperature taken. 

We didn’t see a doctor until just after 3. By that stage our baby was very upset as they were extremely over tired. Our baby was then checked for a rash and had their throat looked at. The doctor couldn’t hear our baby's chest properly as our they were screaming. 

The doctor said she needed to get another doctor to check our baby. A nurse was sent back with panadol. Another 45 minutes passed before the other doctor came. 

It was then 4am in the morning. Our baby was given a steroid and we were given a script for antibiotics. The doctor informed us to come back if we needed to. We were given no information about follow up care. No information was provided about reactions to steroids. 

In the 5 hours we were there my baby had one set of obs done. To my understanding even if our baby was given a 4 in triage, due to their age they must be seen within 2 hours. 

The nurses and doctors did not seem to be busy as they were eating and laughing in the office. 

During our time there another mother with 2 small children left after a 4 hour wait. 

I find this unacceptable time management. 

I understand if the department is busy and other patients require immediate care but a 5 hour wait for a 9month old is not appropriate. 


Response from Glen Matters, Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital, WACHS South West 2 years ago
Glen Matters
Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital,
WACHS South West
Submitted on 25/06/2018 at 16:12
Published on Care Opinion at 16:19

picture of Glen Matters

Dear Concerned Mother of small child

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback on Patient Opinion and I would like to apologise to you and your baby for the extended wait to be seen. It is particularly stressful when young children are unwell and we do attempt to minimise the length of time in the Emergency Department as much as possible.

When people first attend the Emergency Department an initial brief assessment is done by the triage qualified Registered Nurse to identify the priority for care. If a triage four is assigned it indicates that review is recommended within sixty minutes. It is difficult to comment on the overall length of stay without knowing the specific clinical details but I certainly acknowledge that a five hour wait is too long a time at any time of the day with a nine month old and even worse in the middle of the night.

Every patient presenting to the Emergency Department is required to have a minimum of a full set of observations during their stay and this would be inclusive of a temperature taken so it is very disappointing this did not occur. You should have also received information and advice on follow up care and possible side effects of steroids. We are taking some proactive education with the Emergency Department staff on this.

If you would like to contact Denise Clement, our Critical Care Nurse unit Manager on 9722 2257 she would be more than happy to discuss or meet in person with the focus on us improving our services.

Once again, thank you for posting on Patient Opinion and I again apologise for your experience and I also hope your baby is feeling better now.


Glen Matters

Operations Manager Bunbury Hospital

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