"Hospital triage system and hospital hygene"

About: Ipswich Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

I visited the Ipswich Hospital one night after ambulance officers advised that a gash on my very young grandchild's forehead needed to be glued. They had stuck the wound temporarily with small special strips. Upon arrival at the hospital we were told by triage staff that we had to stay there for 4 hours post accident to observe whether my grandchild had concussion. I thought worst case scenario we would be out by the early hours of the next morning because it had already been an hour since the injury occurred. My grandchild was seen once in that time by the nursing staff to check her obs.

Keeping such a toddler awake at that time would normally be a chore, but my grandchild became over-active and wanted to keep on the move. Our toddler finally fell asleep around 1: 00am. Was called by a doctor at 2: 00am and we left the hospital around 2: 20am

I think the triage system has been made ridiculously difficult to deter people from seeking medical help unnecessarily. While this is understandable it is also not acceptable.

Children entering the emergency unit late at night would not be there if it could be helped. They should be seen as soon as possible after arrival. Children with head injuries should be seen early in case their wounds can be quickly fixed (regardless of the policy to monitor them for 4 hours for possible concussion - who monitors them - it is not the nursing staff it is the parent sitting in the waiting room). Parents could do that in the comfort of their homes where the child is not exposed to potential air-borne illness from infected people. A better triage system would help in this regard.

The waiting room had blood, vomit and cockroaches on the floor. This is disgusting and potentially sick people could become sicker given this unhygienic environment.

There was no table next to the bed my grandchild was allocated to. The nurse put her paperwork on top of the bin and wrote up notes on that. This is not hygienic. I have not seen anyone disinfect bins in their cleaning routines at hospital.

The doctor who attended my grandchild was very kind and apologetic when he said he couldn't take the strips off the wound to glue it. I already knew after being there for 5 hours that it would be too late to make a difference anyway. My grandchild will have a sizable scar on their forehead because of this inaction of early treatment.

Parents who take children to the hospital at night more than likely have other children at home. They then have to get up early to tend to the needs of those children as well. This places children at risk. What if the parent is too tired to wake up after having such a late night at the hospital. Who tends to the children in those circumstances? Not everyone has a support system to rely upon.

A more efficient triage system will help to resolve these issues.

Responses

Response from Joy Wyatt, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton

Dear Concerned Grandmother,

We are so sorry to hear that your grandchild was injured and needed to come to the emergency room at night – it must have been a frightening and distressing experience for you both.

Like you, we are concerned about the issues highlighted by your experience and we would like to further evaluate the treatment provided to you and your grandchild. We would be grateful if you would contact us directly to discuss the events - please be assured your call would be welcome and we are sincere in our offer of assistance. If you would like to speak with us about your experience, you are welcome to contact the Consumer Liaison Office on 0409 275 503 during business hour or you can email us at wmh.clo@health.qld.gov.au

At West Moreton we welcome and value consumer feedback because it helps us to review and improve the services we provide to patients, their families and our community. As such, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us.

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback - we are always grateful when community members let us know what we do well and where we need to improve.

Kind regards

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

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