"Accessing medical care"

About: Kalgoorlie Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I have been going through an incident with my local doctors and the Kalgoorlie Hospital for a number of months. I have a problem with my elbow - I had a lot of fluid in it. There seemed to be arguments between the doctors.

It took 6 months to be able to get to theatre to have the fluid drained. I then had a follow up appointment booked to have my elbow checked later this year. But since my surgery my elbow has become swollen and looks like I may have an infection. I rang the outpatient clinic to tell them about my elbow and they told me to go straight to the ER at Kalgoorlie Hospital. So I went to the ER and had to give them my entire history. I know about the rating of 1 - 5 of importance to be seen by a doctor. I had to wait a number of hours. Numerous people were seen before me with all sorts or problems, from very minor to more serious. This made me very confused about the 1 - 5 rating scale to be seen by a doctor. 

By late in the afternoon, I asked how much longer I would have to wait. I was told there were two people ahead of me, but I saw nobody waiting. I then went up to the desk to tell the person at the desk that I couldn't wait around any longer because I needed to leave to get to an address. I asked this person to record the time I arrived and the time I left - just to have a record of how long I waited to be seen - and told them I had to leave. Two nurses then took me into a room and I felt, gave me the riot act. They then told me I was refusing treatment and they would write that down and I could go now. I then asked well why am I here then? I wouldn't have been there if I didn't need to be seen. The nurse then said, I'm not talking to you now, bye now. I felt they virtually threw me out the door. 

I will now go and see my own doctor. 

I have been to this ER a few times in the past and had similar experiences. I feel like they judge me on my looks. 

I'm not the kind of person who complains or puts complaints in to services, but I have had enough. I believe this is wrong! I'm sure they are supposed to have a duty of care. 

I've lived here for years and it's really hard to get medical attention. 

In the past I have traveled 740 kms (which is just one way) when I have needed medical treatment. This has been at my own expense. 

Something really needs to be done.


Response from Geraldine Ennis, Regional Director, WACHS - Goldfields nearly 2 years ago
Geraldine Ennis
Regional Director,
WACHS - Goldfields
Submitted on 03/09/2018 at 17:21
Published on Care Opinion on 04/09/2018 at 08:58

picture of Geraldine Ennis

Dear ER

Thank you for advising us of your experiences in the Emergency Department at Kalgoorlie Hospital.

I understand how frustrating it can feel in what can seem like an unfair wait in the Emergency Department. Every patient that presents is triaged and this will result at times in higher triaged patients being seen before you.

In what may seem minor problems in some patients presenting may in fact be more serious upon triage examination so this can sometimes cause confusion when these patients are taken through before others.

There can also appear at times to be no one waiting due to an empty waiting room but it is often the case that there are patients being treated in the Emergency department ward behind the doors and this can quite often be a lot busier than it appears.

I do sincerely apologise that the nurses who spoke to you have made you feel this way, I will ensure the staff are reminded to listen to and communicate with the patient in a more friendly and easy to understand manner.

If you would like speak to someone to discuss this matter further I encourage you to contact David Bowdidge, Operations Manager Kalgoorlie Hospital on 90805817.

Although I hope in the future that your experience is more positive, if at your next visit to Kalgoorlie Hospital you feel that you are not being treated appropriately, please ask the Emergency Department Clerk or Triage Nurse to escalate your concerns as per the CARE system. We have on-call senior management who can look into matters at that moment and hopefully resolve problems quickly.

Thank you again for sharing your feedback with us.

Kind regards

Geraldine M Ennis PSM

Regional Director

WACHS Goldfields

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