"ED wait times for pregnant women"

About: Wonthaggi Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

I happened to go to the emergency department twice in a matter of days and the first time a person came in, went to the triage very upset with their partner I believe, and proceeded to tell the nurse their concerns about her pregnancy as it was early on and she was bleeding (yes l overheard as there is no privacy as they did not take her into a room and I believe everyone could hear her concern). They triaged her and she sat in the waiting room. Over 2 hours later she was still there as l left. I thought it was disgusting to leave a distressed pregnant woman there and not have her lying down on a bed getting seen to promptly.

A few days later the same thing happened but this time it was my own pregnant relative. This time, we left after waiting 2 and a half hours. She was absolutely beside herself when she got up and told the receptionist she was leaving. She then waited till morning and rushed to the clinic to see an obstetrician who told her they could have called them as they were on call the night before and there is always an obstetrician on call. Something that no one happened to mention. Also, the obstetrician said the midwives could have checked her, yes we are locals, but I believe her husband had already rang them and they told her to wait in ED.

I don't think it is good policy for the emergency department and the midwives to leave very distressed pregnant women waiting for hours.


Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health last week
Jan Child
Bass Coast Health
Submitted on 12/01/2021 at 12:43
Published on Care Opinion at 12:45

picture of Jan Child

Dear wearingdf63,

I am so very sorry that your relative had this experience. Please accept our sincere apologies. We agree that the infrastructure and space for our current Emergency Department is inadequate. The waiting area is too public and too small and we don’t have enough cubicles for our demand, particularly when our demand increases significantly over summer months.

We are building a new Emergency Department that is 4 times the size, and it has private rooms for distressing events such as those you describe. This is unfortunately some 20 months away from being opened. Our staff usually do whatever they can to prioritise patients who are presenting with such life changing events so I would very much welcome some detail about when you were there, so that I can talk to the staff and understand the circumstances.

I would also welcome your thoughts on how we could improve things in the interim. I wonder if you would be able to call me on 0472846355. I hope your family member is ok and I hope I hear from you.

Kind regards, Jan

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