Case studies

Emergency Department

Mobility service

Ambulance service

Case study: Emergency Department

Mr Knight visited the Emergency Department in a public hospital with head pain. He was treated for a migraine, given pain killers and sent home. His pain did not go away and later visited his GP who told him he had had a bleed to the brain and required surgery.

Mr Knight was unhappy that he had been turned away from hospital and felt a more in-depth assessment would have highlighted the bleeding. He also felt he could have been made more aware of what to do if the pain did not subside, as he would have returned to hospital sooner.

As Mr Knight had attempted to raise these concerns directly with the service provider, but was not satisfied with the outcome, a complaint was lodged with HaDSCO.

HaDSCO worked with both the service provider and Mr Knight in order to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome, utilising the HaDSCO conciliation process.

This process was facilitated by an impartial HaDSCO case manager and allowed both parties to meet and discuss the issues face-to-face. The service provider was able to openly discuss the issues surrounding the situation and provide an apology to Mr Knight.

In addition, HaDSCO worked with the provider to identify areas which could improve service delivery in the future. An information sheet for staff has since been produced which explains to patients the circumstances when they should return to the Emergency Department if suffering from headaches. This has been particularly useful in encouraging patients, who feel embarrassed to re-visit hospital with a recurring issue.

Case study: mobility service

Mr Peterson’s son has a disability and uses a motorised wheel chair. The wheel chair malfunctioned so Mr Peterson contacted a mobility service organisation and arranged for the chair to be repaired, costing a total of $700.

Mr Peterson later contacted a public hospital, requesting a refund of the fee. The provider explained the request for funding of mobility assistance must be undertaken prior to receiving the service. As Mr Knight’s request was retrospective, the hospital was unable to provide a rebate.

As Mr Knight had attempted to resolve the complaint directly with the service provider, but was not satisfied with the outcome, a complaint was lodged with HaDSCO. HaDSCO worked with both the service provider and Mr Knight in order to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome, utilising the HaDSCO conciliation process.

This process was facilitated by an impartial HaDSCO case manager and allowed both parties to meet and discuss the issues face-to-face. The service provider was able to provide an in-depth explanation to Mr Knight; helping him to understand the process.

In addition, HaDSCO worked with the provider to identify areas which could raise awareness of the funding request process among the users of disability assistance services. The provider has developed an information sheet detailing the process and plans to distribute once a full audit of their contact database has been complete.

Case study: Ambulance service

A woman fell and fractured her lumbar vertebra (a bone in the lower back). An ambulance was called but the paramedics were unable to get the stretcher into the patient’s home as they themselves had bad backs. This meant the patient was required to walk to the ambulance, which caused her further pain.

The patient made a complaint to the service provider and following an investigation, an apology was given.

The final fee for the medical treatment totalled $738. The patient was on a disability pension and was paying instalments, however she requested the remaining $400 to be waived. The provider declined this request.

As the patient had attempted to resolve the complaint directly with the service provider, but was not satisfied with the outcome, a complaint was lodged with HaDSCO. HaDSCO worked with both the service provider and patient in order to achieve a mutually agreeable outcome, utilising the HaDSCO negotiated settlement process.

This process allowed both parties to discuss the issues via an impartial HaDSCO assessment officer, facilitating resolution. The service provider was able to openly discuss their view, provide honest explanations and work with HaDSCO to look at workable ways to manage the complaint and further improve services.

Working collaboratively through-out the process, HaDSCO, the patient and the service provider agreed a resolution outcome. The service provider wrote the patient a formal letter of apology and waived the full $738 fee.

In addition, HaDSCO worked with the provider to establish some service improvement recommendations, which would assist in service delivery in the future. Training into the correct treatment of potential/actual spinal injuries was given to the Paramedic involved and an information sheet detailing best practice for potential/actual spinal injury care was produced and distributed to staff.

[Back to top]



Level Triple-A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0