"Emergency patient to outpatient"

About: Wonthaggi Hospital

(as the patient),

I presented to the Emergency Department of Wonthaggi Hospital recently after I could not see any local doctors. I was on holidays with my family. The triage staff were friendly & accurate about wait times. The doctor I saw was friendly & knowledgeable. The ultrasonographer had me waiting for many hours. I was unaware of that wait. The triage staff were apologetic after I made them aware of my 2nd wait. I was in the emergency department for 6 hours. At times there was no-one but myself waiting. After the ultrasound results, the procedure was efficient & successful. I then had multiple appointments in the new outpatients building to see swab results & attend to wound care. The nurses were excellent in their skill but seemed unaware during all of my appointments of patient privacy. I wonder if it is the new building with its lino floors & lack of soundproofing. I heard what every patient in the nurse's area was in for, their names & how many times they had been in with their issue. I'm certain everyone else heard who I was & why I was there. I definitely heard a nurse speak to someone on the phone in the nurse's area about whether or not I needed the doctor I was booked in with as well as the nurse as it was more paperwork. I don't question the staff's ability to do their work, I know I got some great advice. I suggest staff read their patient info/speak to the patient before assuming why the patient is there & be aware of the lack of privacy due to the area's layout. It really is quite unprofessional.

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Responses

Response from Jan Child, CEO, Bass Coast Health

picture of Jan Child

Dear apuscb73,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with such constructive feedback. It is clear from reading this that our communication with you (in both settings), was not optimal. I would like to apologise to you - appropriate communication to our consumers is a key priority, and this is by no means an excuse, but in a busy day, it is often the thing we forget to do well. I would like to reassure you that we are doing some work in this space - not just about making sure we discuss our processes and our timelines, but also the way in which we communicate so that it is not duplicated, and it is easy to understand. We will also review the rooms that are currently used, and the processes our staff are engaged in, to see if there are alternate arrangements that we can make to ensure your information is managed confidentially so that your privacy is maintained. In relation to your wait in the ED, I know it will often seem that you are the only patient in the waiting room - I can assure you that if you are waiting, it is likely that there are sicker patients getting all the attention behind the ED and Radiology doors. We have only 6 cubicles and so are very short for space and if we have had people brought through the back door by ambulance, or if we have people in our resuscitation cubicles requiring significant attention, the wait times for others is often higher. I apologise that this is the case. I would be very pleased to speak with you if you have any specific suggestions that would assist us - my number is 0472 846 355. Thanks you once again for taking the time to feedback - I hope that if you ever have to use our service again in the future that you will find that our communication has improved.

Kind Regards,

Jan

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