"Box Hill ED response slow and confusing"

About: Box Hill Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I am a member of staff at Eastern Health and recently I was unfortunate to need Box Hill hospital's help. It was early on a weekend morning and I had a serious rapidly advancing skin infection, with increasing fever, great pain on walking and more worryingly a bit of a fuzzy head, making decision making a bit slow. So I was really disturbed to walk into Box Hill ED and:

1) find no-one sitting at the reception desk.

2) I searched thoroughly but could find no way of attracting staff attention, no bell, no buzzer, no phone, nothing.

3) I could see staff in the distance down a corridor in the ED cubicle area but even though I made eye contact and raised my hand I felt the staff ignored me and continued chatting.

There was only one other patient waiting in the reception area and although I asked them how to get attention they just laughed. So I lay across two reception chairs and waited, and waited whilst my head got fuzzier. Eventually a person in casual clothes approached the reception window and slowly, and I mean slowly and casually with no haste, asked me question after question and took time inputting data into their computer screen. I was then asked to take a seat again.

Eventually I was approached by a ED staff member in scrubs and lead limping into a cubicle where I was again left for many minutes alone whilst I watched my leg redness and swelling continue to increase and spread. With every member of staff that approached my stretcher I had to repeat myself over and over. I felt sick and dizzy and this is stupid to have to do this.

I think this covers the main bad areas of my patient experience, the good stuff came later on the wards.

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Responses

Response from Alan Lilly, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of Alan Lilly

Dear Chief

I am so sorry to read about experience at Box Hill Hospital and as a fellow staff member, I am particularly sorry that your organisation has let you down. It sounds like a less than satisfying experience and I would be keen for one of our staff to talk to you about this to see what we can learn and also, to prevent a recurrence.

I am just so sorry that we have left you lacking in confidence in our care and would like to be able to address this through some more discussion with you.

If you would like to help us improve our services even more, please feel free to email me at alan.lilly@easternhealth.org.au and I will be sure to arrange a follow-up discussion with you and one of our staff.

I look forward to hearing from you and again, I am so sorry that we have let you down at the time you needed us most.

Kind regards and thanks, Alan Lilly

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