"Emergency Department."

About: Sale Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I recently visited the Central Gippsland Health, Sale Emergency Department, having had heart palpitations for three days.

I was seen quickly, but placed on a three-lead monitor for a couple of minutes, and told - based on that, we probably wouldn't do anything - you can stay here if you want to see a doctor, but the wait will be around four hours.

The waiting room was packed, and I think that was part of the reason I was fobbed off.

My daughter, who is a paramedic, was appalled at this lack of attention, describing it as negligent, and suggesting I should phone a paramedic to get 12-lead monitoring, and have bloods taken to test for troponin levels.

Because of the lack of other symptoms, an ambulance was not required, but the Ambulance Victoria paramedic I spoke with on the phone was insistent that I should have proper monitoring, go back to emergency, and definitely be seen within four hours.

I went back to Sale Emergency, but they were clearly overwhelmed - people were standing because there was not enough seating.

I left immediately and elected to have family members drive me to Traralgon Regional Hospital Emergency Department about 40 minutes away.

At Traralgon I was spoken to within minutes, placed on a monitor within about 20 minutes and family history taken (my father has a history of heart disease).

I was then taken to a cubicle for 12-lead monitoring for several hours. Blood was taken, x-rays were done, blood pressure and pulse was checked.

Eventually I was sent home with a letter to my GP suggesting a Holter monitor.

I decided to record my experience at a scenario like this could so easily result in an unnecessary death.

IN my opinion, Sale's Emergency Department needs to be properly resourced - we have a rapidly expanding RAAF Base which will result in a large influx of people next year, and we are clearly not coping now.

Perhaps there also needs to be some sort of streamlining to have non-emergency cases directed to GPs.

   

Responses

Response from Paul Head, Director Aged & Ambulatory Care, Central Gippsland Health

picture of Paul Head

Dear Trout,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and telling your story about your experience.

My name is Paul and I am the Acting Executive Manager of the Emergency Department at Central Gippsland Health.

I am very glad to hear you did not require serious intervention after what I can imagine was a very stressful day for you.

I am very sorry you felt fobbed off and disappointed with the service you received recently in our emergency department. Furthermore I am sorry that you felt the need to drive to Latrobe Regional Hospital to have you concerns investigated.

Our Emergency Department does experience high demand at times, in the past two weeks we have experienced some days of unusually high activity, and your experience sounds like it may have been on one of these occasions.

Regardless of how busy the department is, it is important for us to communicate in a way that you feel satisfied we have understood your concerns and are treating them appropriately, it sounds like we have failed to do this in your case. We are doing some really great work in the emergency department; however I am also aware that we do not always get it right.

It is invaluable for us to hear about our patients experiences in our health service as this forms the basis for our improvement.

I would welcome further discussion about your experience, should you wish to do so, my contact details are 0400629336 or via email on paul.head@cghs.com.au and we can explore this in more detail.

Warm Regards

Paul

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