"Emergency department very cold and drafty."

About: Box Hill Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I want to advise that many of the female toilets do not have sanitary waste bins which means pads and tampons are placed in the normal bin. The staff I spoke to seemed unaware that not all the toilets had sanitary disposal units until I pointed it out.

Also, the waiting area in Box Hill Emergency seems to have been poorly designed as it is very cold. There is a constant draft from the door and most people are complaining to the nurses about it. They said it has been like this since it opened and many people have made comments but as yet, it seems that nothing had been done to remedy it or the poor processing procedures for triage. Maybe a ticket system is needed as it seems that no one knows who is waiting and who had been seen by the triage team.

The staff that I have seen, however, have been outstanding.


Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Chan

Many thanks for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I will take up the issue of waste bins right away with our service provider and ensure that it gets addressed quickly.

I am sorry to read that you found the Emergency Department to be cold and draughty. I was not aware of this issue and so I will follow up with our ED staff too to see if we need to raise this as a design issue with the builder and whether or not remedial action needs to be taken. You will have seen the double-lock doors and these are actually designed to lessen the "wind tunnel" effect. I will seek some more feedback from the Triage team in ED. Thank you.

Finally, with regard to the ticketing system, I will also talk with the ED manager about that. Patients are usually treated in time based on their "triage assessment" and whether or not they need further assessment or are suitable for "fast track". However, I will check this out, and again, see if we need to make any changes or keep patients more informed.

And thank you for your overall comments about your observations of staff. They work in a very busy and demanding environment, and we are indeed fortunate to have so many outstanding staff members. I will make sure your feedback is passed on. I have no doubt that this will be gratefully received and everyone needs to know when they're doing a good job too.

Thanks again for sharing your story and I hope that you are doing well. Please be reassured that I will follow up these matters and place a later posting within the next few days.

Kind regards, Alan Lilly

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Update posted by Chan (the patient)

Good Morning Mr Lilly

Firstly on the website it asks you to put a username not your real name so as not to be identified but since I have spoken to nurses doctors and ultrasound personnel it seems silly to use Chan. Chan was our late dog's name.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the issues I observed and experienced very recently in the Box Hill emergency department.

Many of the Emergency staff encouraged me to make these concerns known and said you would respond to my concerns if I sent them through and they were right.

They too made a note to the cleaning staff about the absence of sanitary bins in the female toilets in the triage waiting area but also re two toilets in ED one near the short stay.

The glass doors do not block out the cold air and yesterday many heard the howling of the wind and felt the draft. The nurses said many have commented on this in Triage one gentleman who was there again said that perhaps it was the driveway leading down that seemed to funnel it towards the two doors.

I am not an engineer so cannot comment on the cause only the noise and the draft

Kind regards


Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Hello Peta

Thanks again for your feedback. I am delighted to report that our Executive Director (Karen Fox) responsible for Support Services has already been to look at the toilets in the Emergency Department and you are spot on! Thank you for alerting us to this. Needless to say, Karen is arranging disposal units to be placed in the toilets and she plans a broader review also across the organisation. Of course, I am intrigued as to why we hadn’t been made aware of this earlier so I will have a look at this along with following up those other areas with the manager of the ED.

Thanks again for sharing your story Peta, this is a great example of the power of feedback at work.

I'll be in touch on the other matters in the coming days.

Kind regards, Alan Lilly

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Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Peta

By way of a further update, I thought that I would let you know that I chatted to Philippa Blencowe (Director of Nursing & Midwifery Operations) on Friday last week, and she said that in light of the feedback about the cold and draught, the local management team is undertaking a review and improvement of "front of house" operations and as part of this, they will also be involving a consumer.

With regard to the ticketing system, Philippa also confirmed that the issue you describe is associated with the Triage system (where patients are categorised based on a number of factors) and so as part of the review, they will also look at how patients are kept updated on waiting times and the like in the waiting room.

So thanks again for your feedback - as you can see, it has made a difference already and will influence future improvements too.

Kind regards, Alan Lilly

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