"I felt alone and un-cared for in the ED."

About: Joondalup Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Recently, I presented to Joondalup ED alone, after being advised to attend by St John Urgent Care.

I felt the triage nurse was cold and short with me as they took my obs and told me to put a mask on. I get it, ED is tough, the place is heaving, I've been there but I felt rubbish and as we all know, an unfriendly face doesn't make you feel much better.

I had been struggling with fevers all day and had a temp in excess of 38.5 - I told the nurse I'd last taken paracetamol at 4pm and it was now 8 so I knew I was due. I was tachy (110+) too and SOB, I'm also told by my lovely friends that I looked like crap (it's fair, I did). I wasn't asked if I had any pain (I did) which is part of any triage assessment. I was asked to take a seat and I'd be called eventually - obviously, I've worked in this area and I know the paperwork and the workload.  Perhaps I was a little sensitive as I was feeling so ill but I felt upset at the cold reception and apparent lack of compassion, I couldn't imagine being like that with my own patients. I sat for two hours feeling worse and worse, my friend had arrived to sit with me and asked if I could be checked on due to this. The lovely clerk said that they would ask a nurse to repeat my obs. Another while had passed, it was nearly 10pm and I still hadn't had my obs repeated so my friend was fortunately able to take me to receive treatment an hour away.

My self-diagnosis was confirmed. My concern is that if I had a patient with those obs, their score would be high enough to warrant a review within 30 minutes (as per standard vital observations chart) - I trust that my obs were indeed recorded correctly.
I know you're busy and I can manage things myself but I wouldn't want any other patient feeling that unwell who was on their own or vulnerable to be left in the waiting room for so long without another assessment. I could also tell patients didn't want to sit near me because of the mask - fair enough, I wouldn't want to sit next to me either.


Response from Paul Taylor-Byrne, Deputy Director of Clinical Services - Acute Care, Ramsay - Joondalup Health Campus 13 months ago
Paul Taylor-Byrne
Deputy Director of Clinical Services - Acute Care,
Ramsay - Joondalup Health Campus
Submitted on 16/04/2019 at 11:50
Published on Care Opinion at 11:56

picture of Paul Taylor-Byrne

Dear Hobbie,

We are disappointed to hear of your experience in our Emergency Department. It is our expectation that all patients and visitors would feel safe and welcomed to Joondalup Health Campus. We would like the opportunity to thoroughly investigate your concerns and to enable us to follow up accordingly, our consumer liaison team are available at consumerliaison.jhc@ramsayhealth.com.au or alternatively you can call the team directly on 08 9400 9672.

We hope you are now recovering well and back to full health.

Kind regards

Paul Taylor-Byrne

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful