Great grandmother left two hours in cold outside Adelaide emergency room
Posted On May 9, 2022
A 92-year-old great-grandmother has been left outside a South Australian hospital in the cold for two hours, prompting a review into what went wrong.
Maureen Wortley had a fall and was taken to Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide around 6.30 pm last night.
She was forced to wait outside the busy hospital in her dressing gown.
The woman’s family said they had transported the great-grandmother themselves due to a lack of ambulances.
“She was asked to sit on her walker, wasn’t provided with a wheelchair or a blanket, asked to sit on her walker outside in 10 or 12 degrees,” a family member said.
The 92-year-old was screened for COVID-19 outside the hospital prior to entry, and then mistakenly asked to undergo a second test.
Dr Penny Conor from the Northern Adelaide Health Network said the testing mix-up contributed to the delays.
“There was a little bit of miscommunication by a couple of the nurses in the external triage space,” she said.
Wortley’s family issued a complaint with the hospital, claiming staff in the outside tented area were given heating whilst patients were not.
The South Australian premier today called the incident a “substantial stuff up”, apologising to the woman’s family.
“We saw someone not getting the sort of care that any Australian with a degree of compassion would want to see or certainly expect,” premier Peter Malinauskas said.
SA Health said the hospital was busy but had not reached capacity, adding the elderly woman should have been processed in 20 minutes.
“I probably wouldn’t describe it as a substantial stuff up but yes we could’ve done better,” Conor said.
“Again I apologise unreservedly to the family.”
Super fans descend on NSW town as Parkes Elvis Festival returns
From tonight, COVID-19 testing areas will be moved inside unless the hospital is at full capacity.
An additional triage nurse will assist with the processing of patients.