In an emergency, please call 000

Our emergency department has been experiencing high demand and we are anticipating this will continue over the Christmas period. Our staff are working hard to attend to patients as quickly as possible, priotitising life threatening emergencies. We ask that community members only come to the Emergency Department for conditions that are urgent or life threatening.

The Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED) allows you to access care for non-life-threatening emergencies. You can connect to the VVED from anywhere in Victoria.  If you are eligible, you will be connected virtually to emergency doctors and nurse practitioners who will provide medical advice, in the comfort of your own home or workplace. 

If you are unable to access a GP, there are also a number of alternative services available. We have put together a handy printable guide, listing a variety of services for health support, advice and consults. Many of these services are available 24/7.

What will happen when I arrive at the Emergency Department?

GV Health Emergency Department aims to provide all members of our community with high quality care, as efficiently as possible.

Your treatment starts as soon as you step into the Emergency Department. On arrival, you will see a specialist emergency nurse called the triage nurse. The triage nurse will assess how severe your condition is.

In Australia, the triage system is used to guide hospital staff towards seeing patients according to how sick they are. This system allows patients with life-threatening problems to be seen first. You will be treated as soon as possible, but someone who arrives in the Emergency Department after you may be seen before you if they need treatment more urgently.

In general, the triage system has five levels:

  • Immediate (life-threatening)
  • Emergency (could become life-threatening)
  • Urgent (not life-threatening)
  • Semi-urgent
  • Non-urgent (needs treatment when time permits)

What happens next?

After seeing the triage nurse, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room. How long you wait will depend on the number of patients whose condition is more serious than yours and also how busy the department is.

GV Health’s Emergency Department often experiences very high demand. We know that waiting can be frustrating but our staff work hard to attend to all patients as quickly as possible, prioritising life-threatening emergencies. If your condition is not urgent, please consider an alternative service provider. We have put together a handy printable guide, listing a variety of services for nonurgent health support, advice and consults. Many of these services are available 24/7.

While you wait, if you feel your condition changes, please let the triage nurse know.

A staff member will call you into the department where they will reassess your condition, ask some questions, examine you and discuss your problem and any tests or treatments that might be required. Please feel free to ask questions about your illness and your treatment at this time.

If your problem can be treated in the department, we will treat it. We may also suggest treatment at home or by your local doctor. If your problem is more serious or requires special care, then we may advise that you be admitted to the hospital.

What will happen if I need to be admitted to the hospital?

We will advise that you will be admitted to the hospital if we believe that this is the best way to care for you. As your admission is unplanned, it may take some time for a hospital bed to be ready. Sometimes we may need to transfer you to another hospital for your treatment. Until then, you will be cared for in the Emergency Department.

Can a loved one or carer stay with me in the Emergency Department?

Having family or friends with you can be a great comfort, so you can bring a support person. We ask that only one visitor stay in the Emergency Department at one time (limited exceptions may apply). Available space and the need for social distancing causes us to decrease the number of people present in the ED treatment areas. Visitors may be asked to leave during some procedures.

What happens after I am discharged?

When you are discharged from the hospital, you will be given advice about follow-up care. This may include:

  • Instruction sheets
  • Drugs or prescriptions
  • Appointments for further tests
  • Outpatient appointments
  • A letter for your local doctor

 

Please make sure that you have any medical certificates, WorkCover or Transport Accident Compensation certificates and any other information that you need before leaving the hospital.

If you require assistance to coordinate your care after being discharged, GV Health’s Care Coordination Team can help.