Sep 27, 2023

“We’re not taking care of our people”: Grandma transferred hospitals in taxi cab

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Helen’s granddaughter said transporting her grandmother in a taxi was “wrong”. [Source: 9News]

An injured Adelaide grandmother has been forced to commute between hospitals in a taxi cab with a broken pelvis. 

Helen Watson, 94, broke her pelvis in two places earlier this week and was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) for treatment where she was ramped for two and a half hours in severe pain. 

Helen’s granddaughter Melanie Lavis said the care her grandmother received while at the RAH was great but on Monday evening, Helen was forced to sit upright – despite her injuries –for about half an hour while she was transferred to Modbury Hospital in a taxi. She was not accompanied by any medical staff.  

“I think it’s horrible, something had to change […] The whole thing just doesn’t sit right,” Ms Lavis told 9News.

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Helen’s granddaughter, Melanie Lavis. [Source: 9News]

South Australian Health Minister Chris Picton said he reviewed the report of the incident made by SA Health and that an ambulance wasn’t used to transfer Helen because medical staff didn’t think it was necessary. 

“That was a decision made by the clinicians, doctors and nurses based on their assessment of the patient,” he said. 

But Ms Lavis said medical staff were aware of the severe pain her grandmother was feeling and wouldn’t have transferred her this way if more ambulances were available. 

Opposition Spokesperson Ashton Hurn said this is a result of the State’s worsening ramping crisis. 

“South Australians are sick and tired of the excuses, they want the Government to roll up their sleeves and deliver what they promised,” she said. 

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  1. Unfortunately this kind of situation isn’t just happening in SA, it’s happening in QLD too!
    I know because it happened to me and I’m also an older person, who was taken by ambulance to ER where I was left without pain relief and no one even acknowledged me for a long time!
    And after being taken to the acute ward where I stayed for a few days in severe pain, was then discharged ( I was happy to go home admittedly) and driven in our private car.
    Once back home, I needed some help and support as I was still in severe pain, but no one from the hospital clinical team offered anything to me to help me cope at home.
    There are services available through the hospital like nurse navigators and allied health specialists, after a patient is discharged, but no one informs the patient, I found out about these services a month later by chance, and of course the hospital said I was no longer eligible!
    I’m still in severe pain that impact every moment of my life!
    I submitted my honest feedback but the reply was nothing more than justifications for the way I was treated.
    The health system doesn’t really provide the necessary support it should and is perceived to.
    I agree with the sentiments reflected in this article!

  2. This is just another example of how governments so called “Care” for the aged even though the Royal Commission revealed that the area in care were suffering massive abuse and neglect and the government claims they don’t ave funds to pay for our care, I am a 94 yo, but without debate find the funds, $386 billion to buy submarines. The Royal Commission set out what needs to be done but governments use the perfects they need to review these recommendations as the aged continue to die through neglect and suffering. Men aged 85 and over have the highest rate of suicide of any group in our society rather eke out their lives without care or dignity


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