This is Care Opinion [siteRegion]. Did you want Care Opinion [usersRegionBasedOnIP]?

"Rude staff and double standards"

About: Sale Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

I attended Sale Emergency Department with my sibling and their young child who has been having breathing issues, coughing, minimal fluid and solid intake and temperatures (suspected croup as I believe it had gone through the daycare centre). After they have already been up there for 2 hours earlier in the day and made to wait outside in the cold with also their other infant child as they had no car with them, they were told it could be a long wait and try to get a drs appointment. My sibling managed to get into the drs in the afternoon for a phone/Telehealth appointment when listening to my sibling's child they said they immediately needed to go back to emergency.

We headed back to emergency, a full waiting room and again told they would need to wait outside as my sibling's child has respiratory issues. I asked to speak to someone higher up in regards to this. A senior nurse I believe, came out who again said my sibling's child needs to go outside as they have respiratory issues. I asked where a policy was stating this, they advised they don’t have one or anything in writing stating this. I advised as there is no policy in order I will not be taking my sibling's young child out into the cold air whilst they are having breathing issues. They then rolled their eyes at me and looked at my sibling and said do you want your child on the list or not. My sibling responded by saying of course I do I’m here for care for my child to get a response of, then you need to wait outside. Again I advised until I see a policy regarding this we would not be as the only sign about respiratory issues states cough, cold, fever, runny nose and asked why a child needs to be outside yet a person sitting in the waiting area who I believe was blowing their nose constantly yet isn’t being made to wait outside in the cold like my sibling's young child. The nurse then responded to tell me they would find something in writing and I also asked for a complaint form. They walked off again rolling their eyes I believe. We stood for a couple of minutes until another staff member asked us to wait in between the 2 sliding doors until they came back. I did this while my sibling went to sit in the car. After 15min another staff member came from outside asking if I needed help with anything. I advised I was awaiting a complaint form and something in writing regards to my sibling's child being forced to wait in the car, they responded that they were the coordinator and asked to come speak with me. After 20 minutes of communication relating the same thing as in side, asking why there was, in my opinion, double standards in regards to respiratory issues. It was then made that an isolation room would be organised for my sibling's child to sit in as to not wait outside.

The coordinator Tracy whom I spoke with was very apologetic and listened to our conversation, where compared to our experience with the first nurse being made out to be an issue and I felt, too much trouble for them.  


Response from Mandy Pusmucans, Director of Nursing, Sale, Central Gippsland Health 3 weeks ago
We are preparing to make a change
Mandy Pusmucans
Director of Nursing, Sale,
Central Gippsland Health
Submitted on 25/03/2021 at 17:26
Published on Care Opinion at 17:27

picture of Mandy Pusmucans

Dear oscarem39,

My name is Mandy Pusmucans and I am the Director of Nursing at Sale Hospital. I am sorry that you have felt let down by this experience and appreciate you telling us your story.

Tom, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department and I, along with Bed Manager Tracy (who you referred to) and Frank, our CEO, met to reflect on your story.

One thing we have already done is removed the signage on the front door about not entering if you have COVID symptoms. Whilst it is important that we abide by the COVID requirements, waiting in the car should not be the first step. Tom will work further with his team on this. If there is anything further we can do to support you, please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone on 5143 8512 or by email at

Again, please accept my apology and I hope that your siblings’ child is feeling much better now.

Yours sincerely


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful
Response from Tom Breakspear, Nurse Unit Manager, Emergency Department, Central Gippsland Health 3 weeks ago
Tom Breakspear
Nurse Unit Manager, Emergency Department,
Central Gippsland Health
Submitted on 26/03/2021 at 10:23
Published on Care Opinion at 10:33

picture of Tom Breakspear

Dear oscarem39,

My name is Tom and I am the Nurse Unit Manager of the Emergency Department (ED).

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am sorry that your sibling and their child were made to wait outside our Department to be seen.

We endeavour to see all of our patients in a safe and timely manner. In more recent times, all of our patients have been assessed for respiratory symptoms on arrival in the ED. We then take extra precautions for those who are displaying symptoms, to keep everyone safe from harm. Our intention is certainly not to keep families waiting outside in the cold and as such, we have removed the signs asking patients to return to their vehicles.

We will be discussing your story as a team and looking for additional ways in which we can improve the patient experience for those presenting with respiratory symptoms.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and we hope your niece or nephew is feeling better.

If you would like to discuss your experience further, please feel free to contact me on 51438160 or by email at

Yours Sincerely,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful
Next Response j
Previous Response k

Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcut Help ?
Go to Home g + h
Go to Tell Your Story g + t
Go to About Us g + a
Focus Search Box /