"Lack of attentiveness in Emergency Department"

About: Kalgoorlie Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as a carer),

Attended ED with my partner, who had been referred to ED by in hospital radiologist after attending x-ray & finding a break in their fibia.

This was a busy day in ED, this was not an especially urgent case so we expected to be waiting a long time. After about 3 hours in the waiting room, a teenager comes in to triage with their parent. Presenting complaint sore ear, has not needed pain relief for 3 days, has not seen GP. This would fall into the same/similar category as my partner's broken leg (resulting from an injury one week ago, minimal pain). About 10 minutes later, a doctor came to the waiting room to collect the teenager and their parent. It seemed to me that the doctor clearly knew them as the doctor didn't have to call their name to identify them and appeared very friendly with the parent. I think this doctor had obviously seen their name on the waiting list and chose to treat them instead of people of the same triage category who had been waiting hours longer. If this is true, not only is this unethical but doesn't help the hospital meet the KPI's for ED.

Luckily we were called in shortly after and were treated by a wonderful Dr Paula. We were placed in the 'sub acute' area of ED. There is a sign in each bay stating the criteria the patient must meet in order to be placed in this area. It also states they are to be overseen by the ED coordinator. Not once did a nurse come to see my partner, despite being in that bed for minimum 5 hours. In 5 hours several nurses walked past, not once did they greet my partner, ask if my partner is ok, if my partner needs anything, offer water, ask why we are still waiting. The triage nurse sat literally 2 metres from us the entire time and did not speak to us once, despite me being in a hospital uniform! In total we were in ED for 8 hours, just to get a backslab, repeat x-ray and crutches to go home. I completely understand a busy emergency department, but waiting 90 minutes post x-ray for a set of crutches to go home is excessive. If the department was really that busy, they would be wanting to get my partner out to free the bed. I had to flag down a doctor in the hallway just to get a pair of crutches so we could leave. I think the reason we received such poor service is the fact we didn't have a nurse overseeing my partners care, we had at least 3-4 doctors see us about the same problem during this time, it seemed the ED shift coordinator didn't oversee the patient as they are supposed to and the first available doctor chose to treat their mate instead of the patient next in line!


Response from Peter Tredinnick, A/Regional Director, Regional Office, WACHS Goldfields 11 months ago
Peter Tredinnick
A/Regional Director, Regional Office,
WACHS Goldfields

Regional Director

Submitted on 03/05/2019 at 12:51
Published on Care Opinion at 16:47

picture of Peter Tredinnick

Dear Kalresident,

Thank you for your feedback on you recent attendance to our ED. I am sorry our service did not meet your expectations. The delay in your partner's treatment is unacceptable and the clinicians involved have been advised of this.

The other issues you have raised relate to how patients are seen and processed through the ED.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact Dr Robert Pegram Acting Regional Director Medical Services on 9080 5804 or Robert.Pegram@health.wa.gov.au

Kind Regards

Peter Tredinnick

A/Regional Director

WACHS Goldfields

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