"Asked to vacate the emergency department."

About: Community Nursing (Bass Coast Health)

(as the patient),

My story has been phoned through to the service without any reply or phone contact.

One evening I was sent by ambulance for severe shoulder pain from another location. I did not take my mobile as the ambulance team said, you will be kept in overnight in a bed and your spouse can pick you up the following morning.

I was given pain relief in the ambulance and arrived at the hospital ER at just past midnight for assessment. I didn't see a doctor till 3am and was attended to by a rotating ER nurse. After seeing a doctor I was left alone for 30 minutes, then a nurse came to me and said there are two more ambulance arrivals coming and you have to leave the department. I asked for a bed as I had no way of contacting my spouse as my mobile was at home and I could not recall my spouses contact number given all the opiates is was given. I asked for a bed and was told, this was out of the question - you have to go now.  My complaint is I felt like I was chucked out of the department at 3.45am without any assistance, dosed up on heavy opiates and unable to fend for myself at all. The suggestion was to catch a cab home which I did and cost me $125.00.

I believe the following care responsibilities have been breached:

1.  Slow attention by a qualified ER doctor.

2.  Not making a bed available due to my drugged outcome.

3.  No assistance or discussion of any further hospital care due to my              drugged treatment.

4. Dismissed from ED without any discussion or bed to sleep it off.

5.  No, if any assistance to assist me home under drugged state.

6.  Very little discussion about how the staff could assist me during this confused situation.

7.  Leaving me alone in such a difficult situation especially at 4am in the morning.

8.  High cost of a cab home $125.00 and no discussion if I could afford this cost at all.

In summary, I understand the hospital industry very well working in the health industry for many years. I have never in my professional career seen such neglect and lack of understanding of a patient in need.

I do expect a hospital review which reflects how such treatment can occur and the review to meet professional standards.


Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health

picture of Jan Child

Dear Shoulder pain

I am very sorry that you have had this experience, and I am also very sorry that you have not received contact from us since your phone call. I have quickly checked our records and can't find a record of us receiving a phone message about this type of scenario so please ring me directly on 0472846355 so that I can follow up and talk with you.

Our Emergency Department only has 6 cubicles and there are many days over summer where we are seeing close to a hundred patients a day and our ED space isn't adequate - this means that patients who have been assessed by the doctor as clinically safe, will often go home quickly - but this shouldn't occur unless it is safe for the patient to do so. I would genuinely like to speak with you as soon as you are available, so that I can follow up and better understand the issues.

Kind Regards,


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Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health

picture of Jan Child

Dear Shoulder Pain,

Thank you so much for speaking with me today. We identified your original feedback and I would like to sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to you. I would also like to apologise for the experience you had when you came to our service. As discussed with both Garry and myself, we will investigate and discuss with the staff involved in your care and ensure that staff clearly understand our expectations going forward. It is clear that we have much to learn from your experience, to ensure it does not occur again. Thank you for taking the time to ensure your feedback was received and acted upon. I look forward to meeting with you next week as planned to give you an update on our investigations.

Kind Regards,


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Update posted by Shoulder pain (the patient)

Congratulations to the management of Wonthaggi Hospital for sorting out my complaint, very well handled thank you.