Gladstone Hospital director of medical services Dr Nicki Murdock.
Gladstone Hospital director of medical services Dr Nicki Murdock. Brenda Strong

Why patients get transferred from Gladstone Hospital

WHEN a patient needs care that we cannot offer here in Gladstone, then we transfer them out by ambulance or by air.

Often it is obvious immediately the patient arrives that they will need transfer.

Sometimes it takes longer to determine that.

As soon as we know air retrieval is needed we contact the Retrieval Services Queensland.

They operate from two centres in Brisbane and Townsville.

They work with eight different air services in Queensland to arrange a retrieval.

Some retrievals need special equipment such as an isolette for a baby, others simply need a stretcher.

It is the job of RSQ to put us in touch with the subspecialists such as neurosurgeons or pediatric intensive care specialists and get their advice while we wait for transfer.

RSQ have to prioritise the patients they know about, which means that sometimes there is a long wait for transfer.

During that time we continue to care for the patient with the advice of the subspecialists, via phone or video link.

As a relative, it feels like a long wait, but be assured that RSQ are making the best choices they can for all involved.

Transfer can be hard on the patient, so sometimes it makes sense to delay transfer.

At all times the safety of the patient is uppermost in all our minds.