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"Lack of care and communication"

About: King Edward Memorial Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Bad experience in ED for a premature membrane rupture scare which I felt was handled badly by the team, I understand that in the end they couldn’t rule it out but I feel they should of tested for amniotic fluid first. I recall being kicked out of the bed in ED, told to wait back in the ED waiting room, ED was really busy so I had to sit on a broken chair with a large piece of metal sticking into my back all the while I’m still leaking fluid. I even asked to take swabs home so I could test myself for leaking amniotic fluid, however I wasn’t given swabs. I was also sent home without blood tests being taken even though I was advised I needed them to rule out possible infections. 

I am also a patient of the Preterm Birth Clinic and have been even before my premature membrane rupture scare as I’ve had a premmie before. Although, I’ve had no correspondence from the hospital to advise of appointments, just phone calls from midwives after missing appointments. I’ve tried to call the hospital on many occasions to find out when my next appointment is, however I give up after an hour wait on hold.

Another occasion, I pulled my child out of school to attend the anatomy scan and I remember being told on arrival that my child isn’t allowed in and that it was in the letter that was sent. I advised I hadn’t received a letter, or any letters and was told that one would have been sent and I should have read it, (I felt as if the staff member didn’t believe me). I was instructed to put my child in the crèche, in the end I left before getting the scan as I wanted to sort my care and scan elsewhere. 

Don’t get me wrong, the doctors and midwives seem nice, however I believe the level of communication and care is at a bare minimum. I have since found care elsewhere and also recently found out that apparently I should have been given a pregnancy book to track all my appointments, this was never spoken about or given to me previously at KEMH.

I feel the hospital is understaffed and/ or doesn’t have the capacity to cope with the number of patients. Obviously, I really hope I have a safe and long pregnancy for the health of my baby, but I’m also praying I don’t go into premature labour as I would be sent back to KEMH and I’m concerned about the care I would receive being admitted into the hospital. Based on my experience, the parking is also a nightmare, waiting times are very long and none of it seems worth it for the care provided. 

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Response from Jodi Graham, Executive Director, Women and Newborn Health Service last month
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Jodi Graham
Executive Director,
Women and Newborn Health Service
Submitted on 3/12/2021 at 11:42 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 11:44 AM

picture of Jodi Graham

Dear Patient1000,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding the King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH). I am sad to read that your experience with our service has not met your expectations.

I understand how distressed you must have been during your visit to the Emergency Centre (EC) when you suspected that you had a premature membrane rupture, particularly after already experiencing a premature birth with one of your children.

The feedback that you have provided has been taken very seriously and has been shared with relevant staff members and managers. Your feedback will also be reviewed and discussed by our staff so that we can work towards addressing each of your concerns including:

- A review of all furniture in the EC waiting area

- Reminder to staff regarding effective communication with patients

- Reminder to clinic staff to provide all patients with the Pregnancy Health Record at a patient’s initial visit.

Should you wish speak to someone about the outcome of the review, I would encourage you to contact the KEMH Consumer Liaison Service (CLS) on (08) 6458 1444. At this point, an individualised response can be provided to you with regards to the provision of a take-home swab test kit and your blood tests not being completed.

If you haven’t done so already, I would also encourage you to confirm that the hospital has your correct residential address on file so that any future appointments are not missed. You can do this by calling (08) 6458 1313, alternatively, this feedback can be investigated should you contact the CLS.

I acknowledge the negative experience that you have had with our service and apologise for this. I do hope that you have safe pregnancy with no further complications. I would like to reassure you that our staff work hard to provide all of our patients with the best health care possible in an environment where patients feel encouraged to advocate for their health and the health of their baby. I would encourage you to make contact with our service so that we can rectify the negative experience you have had and allay and concerns that you may have should you need to return to KEMH for care. We take this type of feedback very seriously and thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback with me.

I wish you and your family all the best for your upcoming labour and the future.

Kind regards

Jodi Graham

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