"Emergency Department accessibility"
About: Northam Health Service / Emergency Department Northam Health Service Emergency Department Northam 6401
Posted by not a happy patient (as ),
I was unable to get into a doctor and so went to the new Emergency Department at Northam Hospital. There I found a lack of consideration for the access of people using gophers or wheelchairs. As there is no space to leave a gopher outside, I had to take it in. The windows are set up so you have to go to the second window for them to call a triage nurse, then back to the first window, then to the third window which means a lot of manoeuvring. I was told to wait, and asked where as there is no space for others to go past when you sit in the entryway at the door/desks, and the waiting area is full of chairs. The staff looked confused when I asked where I could leave my gopher. They eventually just said to stay anywhere. When I was called through, it was obvious the problem has not really been considered behind the entry either, as there was still nowhere to park it except to take it into the bay. I can see this causing blockages and may badly affect people trying to treat patients.
This really needs to be addressed, as I felt acutely aware that I was blocking entrance to anyone else that came in, and the staff seemed uncomfortable and unsure what to tell me to do when I asked about a solution.
The care was fine, but I cannot help wondering what would be the protocol if the bays were in use and 2 or more people with mobility devices were to come in. Even being able to walk short distances does not present a solution as it is, because there is nowhere for devices to be parked until you are in the bays. The only place I could see to park was in front of the entry doors, the door into the working area, or the doors that lead to treatment rooms.