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"Poor patient care"

About: Sale Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

One evening recently, I presented to accident and emergency at CGHS with my toddler who had severed the top part of their left ear from a fall into a coffee table.

They were seen in triage, then made to wait in the waiting room, where I was asked to clean their ear up myself, for 4 hours.

I asked for more Panadol about two and a half hours after arrival as my toddler was irritable. Then continued to wait another hour and a half when they were finally called into an accident and emergency cubicle where they were assessed. It was determined that the laceration was a lot deeper than first thought and the attending doctor sought further review from RCH.

Numbing cream and a crepe bandage were applied while waiting and my toddler fell asleep. The doctor presented and informed me they would insert stitches and proceeded with no further analgesia being applied. This took 4 people to hold my distraught toddler still, while 3 stitches were applied. The nurse commented to me that they wouldn’t be able to feel a thing as they had had the numbing analgesia, which they were never actually given. This clearly gave me the impression the Doctor and nurse both assumed it had been given by each other, when in fact it was never given.

The doctor continued to insert 3 stitches, both my toddler and myself were distraught!

We arrived home in the early hours of the following morning. The next day, the back stitch and one of the front stitches had completely come out. The laceration was fully open again.

I presented at my usual GP who informed me my toddler required a Plastic surgeon to repair the laceration. The GP gave me an open referral and suggested I return to accident and emergency for further attention until I could secure a specialist appointment. I phoned the CGH coordinator and explained the circumstances and was told accident and emergency were not busy and I would be seen promptly. 4 hours passed and in this time, I managed to secure an appointment for the next at a private hospital pending negative Covid results for us both. I asked for the rapid test in accident and emergency and was granted this after further consultation with the coordinator.

The private hospital was was amazing, nothing was too much trouble and I was kept up to date on time frames and what to expect both pre and post-surgery. My toddler and I were treated like we mattered, unlike, in my opinion, CGH accident and emergency where we were left for 6 hours and experience a total lack of communication on the doctors' behalf. 

Two of the nurses at CGH were empathetic and trying to make our time there less traumatic. 

As I understand it, the Plastic surgeon was appalled at the mess CGH had made/left and has repaired my toddler's at an out-of-pocket expense to me of a few thousand dollars.

I would like my complaint to be addressed and revised to ensure this never happens to another family. In my opinion, CHG accident and emergency need to address how they triage and deal with paediatric patients in accident and emergency who are already experiencing an emotional and stressful time. 

Please keep me informed of how this complaint is progressing and any outcome. 


Response from Mark Dykgraaf, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Suite, Central Gippsland Health 2 weeks ago
Mark Dykgraaf
Chief Executive Officer, Executive Suite,
Central Gippsland Health
Submitted on 11/10/2021 at 16:49
Published on Care Opinion at 16:51

picture of Mark Dykgraaf

Dear ophiuchusty63,

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to provide us with your story – we hope that your toddler is now fully recovered.

We are very sorry to hear of your experience and assure you that our approach to patient feedback is to make sure that every experience counts by acknowledging every story shared with us and actively seeking ways to improve our service.

We are genuinely committed to listening, responding and improving and it is important to us that your feedback informs and shapes how we look after our patients.

As you have requested, we are keen to address the specifics of your complaint and provide you with the outcome of our investigation. To this end, I hope that you would feel comfortable contacting me directly at or on 5143 8319 to discuss your concerns further.

Kind Regards,

Mark Dykgraaf

Chief Executive Officer

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