"One person's experience with the NSW Health system"

About: St George Hospital / Emergency Department Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital / Hand Therapy

(as the patient),

(I shall try to condense my experience using bullet points, abbreviations.).

1. Infected Left middle finger (Cellulitis of finger) from tip to first knuckle resulting in severe swelling to finger, whole of left hand and past the elbow.

2. Visited local GP mid morning early in August.  After cutting open and in as delicate a way as I can describe it, squeezing out the pus (painful), he suggested I go to the hospital without delay.

3. I went to St George Hospital Emergency after midday.  I have and have had occasion to visit St George on numerous occasions in the past six years and with the exception of a couple of memorable experiences involving insertion of a catheter, the specialists and staff have always been competent, friendly towards me personally at least and relatively strict on procedures.  In the recent visit, the Emergency Department

a. Admission process was seamless with little waiting time

b. Initial assessment was thorough

c. Wait for an X ray was longer than I would normally have expected

d. Attended to the infected finger 

e. Most importantly, knowing my medical history, liaised with my Hematologist whose Registrar visited me on two occasions .  Given that the infection had gone as far as the arm, it was suggested I go to the Hand Hospital of whose existence I was not even aware.

4. St George arranged for me to go to the Hand Hospital where I arrived at 7pm.  At the Hand Hospital

a. Emergency check-in was similar to St George, (a) above, but because I was to be admitted to the Hospital, assessment was more detailed and thorough.

b. I was taken to a room with 4 beds and after showering, one of the nurses on duty noticed I had a condition called Cold Agglutinin.  Without prompting on my part, she arranged for me to move to a warmer room with a heater.  It was much appreciated.

c. The finger was operated upon the next day and I was discharged three days later.

d. Of equal importance was the dedication, knowledge and care of the nursing staff post the operation.  This included treatment in the follow-up visits as well as advice on physio.

5. I can only speak from my own experience.  The ultimate test is when one leaves the hospital thinking perhaps they deserve to be paid more.


Response from Leisa Rathborne, General Manager, St George Hospital nearly 2 years ago
Leisa Rathborne
General Manager,
St George Hospital
Submitted on 20/09/2018 at 15:21
Published on Care Opinion at 15:31

picture of Leisa Rathborne

Dear Goong,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write to us and share your experience. I was delighted to read that you have had many positive experiences with our Emergency Department, and that during your most recent presentation, you described being assessed thoroughly with good communication between members of your treating team. It is also always good to hear words like ‘friendly’ and ‘dedication’ when describing interactions with staff as good customer service is an essential part of quality patient care.

In your feedback you also implied that there may have been some previous difficulties with the insertion of a catheter. If there may be any future difficulties please advise your treating team and we can arrange for a more senior staff member to assist with the catheter. I also note your concern about waiting times for your x-ray and I was sorry to hear that it was longer than what you have experienced in the past.

I would like to thank you again for your great feedback which I have shared with the clinical teams who were involved in your care.

I wish you all the very best in your recovery.

Yours faithfully,


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Response from Jennie Barry, General Manager, Prince of Wales/Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital nearly 2 years ago
Jennie Barry
General Manager,
Prince of Wales/Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital
Submitted on 20/09/2018 at 16:33
Published on Care Opinion on 21/09/2018 at 10:21

Dear Goong

On behalf of Sydney Hospital & Sydney Eye Hospital I would like to thank you for sharing an insightful review of care during your recent treatment within the Hand Unit and our Emergency Department. Our staff strive each day to deliver compassionate professional care to their patients and your experience reflects this.

I trust the infection in your left middle finger has fully resolved and again thank you for the feedback.

Kind regards


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