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"Emergency Department"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

My partner was in ED for a dislocation, we fully understand this would be triaged low and were well prepared for a long wait time. What was disappointing was the wait time for my partner to receive any form of pain relief and the comments and apparent lack of compassion from the triage nurse. 

My partner was in visible excruciating pain, and it took three hours for them to receive any form of pain medication. During this time I had to ask twice if they was able to get something to help with the pain, which was just frustrating as we saw many people arrive and be given pain relief at the Triage desk. 

The first time asking was roughly just over an hour from our arrival, which granted isn't long, and the Triage nurse said it's been flagged and the waiting room nurse is on their way. The waiting room nurse came out a little while later and said they were there to organise what pain relief would be best and would be back with some shortly.

Then another 1.5 hours went by and my partner had still not received any pain relief, and their pain was getting worse, so I went and asked the Triage nurse again for an update and explained to them that the waiting room nurse hadn't come back for 1.5 hours. I was met with the response asking me if I see the pile of papers, and that all these people are waiting on pain relief, what do I want and that the last patient waited 4 hours for theirs.

I was so shocked and appalled by this response. I get that this wasn't a life-threatening injury and it was a busy night, but I don't think my request needed to be met with such a rude response.

I just wanted to share this as I believe people should be met with a little empathy or care in these situations as they are anxious and uncomfortable times.

I'd also like to share that shortly after this, my partner did receive pain medication.

I also wanted to share that they received wonderful care from the Doctors and nurses when they were seen and treated, and they actually commented on how long it took my partner to receive pain relief and said they couldn't believe my partner was left there for three hours with nothing. 


Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service 3 months ago
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 18/03/2021 at 15:56
Published on Care Opinion at 16:02

picture of Neil Doverty

Dear antliamj35,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience in our Emergency Department (ED). I was sorry to read of the pain and long waits your partner experienced. I’d like to also thank you for your understanding of how busy our ED is, and the impact the level of demand places on our ED has on waiting time for patients.

I’d also like to acknowledge and thank you for your compliments to our treating Doctors and Nurses. They are very special people and I have passed on your gratitude.

However – the way you were spoken to by the Triage Nurse is unacceptable. Yes, staff are under pressure, but rudeness towards patients is never accepted, I assure you. It is particularly disappointing that this occurred in the ED as we are very proud of a consumer-led Quality Improvement project only recently launched in December 2020, which is the 'PACC Education Program for ED Staff'.

PACC stands for:

Person-centred care

Access to specialised help and information, to help you care for people with diverse needs

Collaborative and consistent approaches to care throughout each patient’s ED journey

Communication that is clear, two-way and audience aware.

The PACC program was developed collaboratively with the ED Consumer Advisory Group and nurses in the ED, and comprises 7 learning modules.

Although we are constantly working to improve care and communication across all departments of our hospital, and the PACC program is just one example of this, your experience highlights that we still have a lot of work to do.

Your story has been shared with the ED to raise awareness of your experience and highlight the importance (and expectation) that all staff treat all patients with care and empathy. Due to the anonymous nature of Care Opinion, and without specific details such as the date and time of you and your partner’s presentation, we are unable to investigate in detail. It would be helpful if we could better understand what happened during this presentation and therefore I encourage you, or your partner, to contact the Patient and Liaison Service on 6152 4013 or via email

I wish your partner all the best with their ongoing recovery.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

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