"Triage experience"

About: Angliss Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a carer),

Recently I was obliged to take my spouse to the Angliss emergency department when they began experiencing chest pains and difficulty breathing.

When we arrived the triage nurse, after being advised of the symptoms, told us to sit in the waiting area and wait until you are called.

About ten minutes later we were called and asked to provide our medicare details, insurance details, etc etc. Then we were told to return to the waiting area and wait to be called.

When I complained that my spouse may be having a heart attack and they required, at least, to be evaluated by a doctor, the triage nurse called security.

Security arrived and I was told that my spouse would not be treated until I left the hospital. I refused to do this and my spouse and I returned to the waiting area.

About ten minutes later a nurse called my spouse, who was then taken to the treatment area.

About an hour later, I phoned my spouse and asked for an update. They said that they had been told that they were next to be seen by the doctor.

When  the doctor did arrive, he seemed shocked to find that my spouse was a potential cardiac patient and he had not been informed.

In the end their symptoms were diagnosed as being gastric in origin.

However, it is obvious that if their symptoms had been of cardiac origin, they may have died in the waiting room due to what I believe was the incompetence and negligence of the triage staff.

Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Upweyx01

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide feedback on your and your spouses experience with the triage service in the Angliss Hospital Emergency Department.

I would like to apologise for what may be as simple as a communication issue, or more serious as clinical care and treatment. In order to investigate this properly and in detail, I would really appreciate it if you would be able to contact me privately at david.plunkett@easternhealth.org.au or alternately you could make contact with a Patient Relations Advisor in the Eastern Health Centre for Patient Experience via phone on 1800 EASTERN or feedback@easternhealth.org.au

I will, of course, respect your wishes whichever way you choose to proceed but I take your concerns and feedback very seriously and hence would welcome your direct contact.

I trust your spouse is now fit and well and thank you again Upweyx01 and I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

David

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Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear Upweyx01

Thank you again for taking the time to provide your feedback regarding the Angliss Hospital Emergency Department and for taking the time to discuss your concerns with our Patient Relations Advisor.

As a result of the information you provided we undertook an investigation into the care concerns you raised. I understand that the outcome of that investigation has now been discussed with you. Whilst we were able to confirm that appropriate assessments and tests, including an ECG were performed, this perhaps could have been better communicated with you and your wife to assist your understanding and provide reassurance.

It was clearly a distressing time for you and your spouse and I do thank you for taking the time to report your concerns so that we could not only review your experience but to look for improvements in the care we provide for all our patients and their loved ones.

Should you have any further queries, I encourage you to contact our Patient Relations Advisors on 1800 327 837 or via feedback@easternhealth.org.au

Kind regards

David

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