"Taxi vouchers"

About: Rockingham General Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I was admitted to emergency with an asthma attack taken in via ambulance. Upon leaving I requested a taxi voucher for myself as I’m homeless and staying a long way away from the hospital. The coordinator came to me abruptly telling me they had no vouchers which I explained that a friend had got one the day before going to the same place. The coordinator became very defensive and rude. I explained I had no family and spent Xmas alone. Their response was - well I’ve been working here!

I felt very upset having to justify why I needed help getting back home, needing to shamefully say I’m homeless. I was shocked at their rudeness. My mental issues were escalating and asked to see the mental health nurse. That was refused. They wanted me to sit outside. I explained I felt very anxious out their without knowing how to get home. The coordinator stormed off. The whole interaction left me very upset, feeling unheard and I feel no one should have to deal with this staff member. I’m in shock at what I believe are lies. There is a policy change from one day to the next that they are cracking down. I wanted their name or title as I felt people will need to know this. It was all - those people up there - no names or anyone I could get help to advocate for others as this had been terrible for me. When I asked if the coordinator would write down their name and job title due to my memory and mental health they stormed off and left. Last I saw them walking off back into the emergency ward. Totally unsympathetic, rude and disgusting, not writing down as requested due to my memory. They took no responsibility for their position. I would have liked to seen a caring coordinator that looked at my file, pursued it and saw - oh this patient's mental issues and stresses at this time makes them eligible for a taxi voucher without coming to me to be rude and defensive.

I am mostly upset at how they compared my homelessness, justifying why I didn’t have anyone and saying I spent Xmas time on my own, to her at work. So unprofessional. I was sick and never want to be treated like this again.

Responses

Response from Sally Bradley, Director Clinical Services, Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Sally Bradley

Dear Felt ashamed to be a woman,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. I was very disappointed to hear about the behaviour of the shift coordinator whom you spoke to during your recent visit and I would like to sincerely apologise on behalf of the hospital. Our hospital has a policy to guide staff in assisting patients with transport home if required.

It is important we ensure our staff are aware of the appropriate policy and to assist us in this I would appreciate it if you would contact our Consumer Liaison Officers on 9599 4323 to provide the details of the incident. We can then follow up directly with staff on duty that day.

Kind regards

Sally Bradley

  • Felt ashamed to be a woman thinks this response is helpful
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Update posted by Felt ashamed to be a woman (the patient)

Thanks for the quick response I’m still shaken up from the treatment. Will call Monday.

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