"Incompetence of Emergency Department Procedures"

About: The Townsville Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

Recently I had to bring my partner to the emergency department after an incident of falling down our back stairs and hurting his ankle.

He was seen straight away and was sent to get x-rays (which was very good).

After the x-rays he was told everything was okay and to just go home to rest, elevate and ice his ankle as they believed he just had a bad sprain.

I took him home elevated his foot and applied ice and pain relief when needed as per the doctors instructions. The following afternoon we were back down at the hospital as he was in horrible pain and the swelling had tripled in size.

We waited for close to 1 hour for a doctor who seemed very young to call us in and take us into a room.

The doctor said that an "expert" had looked over the x-rays and was happy that there was no break and that my partner had "possibly" torn a ligament but they (the doctor) weren't too sure, and they couldn't authorise an ultrasound to be done so we had to go to our own GP.

We then continued to ask if there was something a bit more supportive he could have for his ankle and the doctor said "no sorry that's the best we can do" (talking about a compression bandage) and to just go home and rest.

Well we have now been for an ultrasound and gone to see our own GP to be told that he has not only completely torn 1 major ligament in his ankle but 2 of them and is to be off work for 4 weeks and in a moon boot.

This is completely disgusting and we are both extremely furious.

Not only did the emergency department "assume" a diagnosis they also have possibly caused the injury to be twice as bad by not acting faster and carrying out the appropriate tests to determine what was actually wrong.

Up until this incident we have had nothing but good to say about the Townsville General Hospital and its staff members, but this is just disgusting and I will be making everyone that I know aware of what has happened.

The doctor that looked after us on the Friday looked no older then 20 and their knowledge of issues did not seem to be where it should be being called "doctor" in the emergency department.

We were made to feel stupid and as though no one cared about my partner and the pain and discomfort he was in. It was as though we were "wasting" their time and they just wanted to get us out.

Very disappointed and hurt by the staff and procedures of the Townsville General Hospital and the further complications you have possibly caused for my partner.

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Responses

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear sadcustomer,

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I am really sorry to hear that you are dissatisfied with the care provided to your partner in our Emergency Department recently. We have an expectation that staff demonstrate care and compassion to all patients, so I sincerely apologise that this was not your experience.

We take your concerns very seriously and we would like an opportunity to discuss your partner’s experience in more detail so that we can investigate the issues you have raised. I encourage you to contact staff in our Client Liaison Office on 44331074 to discuss your concerns further.

With kind regards,

Julie Shepherd

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