"Same issue, multiple times"

About: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children St John of God Murdoch Hospital St John of God Subiaco Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My child is 10 months old, and we've also stayed at several hospitals including Princess Margaret, St John of God Subiaco and SJOG Murdoch on our journey, with the same issue that needs airing. My child has Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) and is allergic to soy, and is breastfed (because they can't have formula). Breastfeeding mothers need 4 meals a day, and with lots of protein and good food. When Bub is sick, they won't eat solids, so breast milk is all they consume. If mum doesn't eat properly it will affect the milk supply, and therefore bub's health and well-being. I always find it hard to get hearty meals in hospitals, and particularly where Bub (and I - because they react through breast milk) can't eat dairy or soy. I received Weet Bix for breakfast with lactose-free dairy milk, which I couldn't drink as it is still dairy. There also needs to be more understanding in hospital catering departments of both CMPA, and the general dietary needs of breastfeeding mums. Oats would be fantastic for breakfast, or eggs, along with other main meals that are quite substantial.

In this hospital, parents are provided with breakfast, and can request one meal voucher per day to use at the hospital café. The nurses on the ward told me the hospital café would not be able to provide any special allergy meals for me. So I walked the 2.5km round trip to the local shops every lunch and dinner. On our fourth day, I went to the hospital café, where they told me they could order in special allergy meals from an external provider, and I would need to arrange this first with the ward nurses. However, the ward nurses didn't know about this.

Responses

Response from Michelle Dillon, Executive Director Princess Margaret Hospital, Child and Adolescent Health Service - WA

picture of Michelle Dillon

Dear more awareness needed

Thank you for your post. I am very sorry that this has happened, particularly at such a stressful time for you and your family. I have asked my team to investigate this matter as a priority, and will respond to your feedback in more detail in the coming days. In the meantime, if you are at the hospital and experience these issues, I encourage you to contact the Child and Family Engagement Service on 9340 7519, who will be able to assist.

Best wishes,

Michelle Dillon
Executive Director
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children

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Response from Michelle Dillon, Executive Director Princess Margaret Hospital, Child and Adolescent Health Service - WA

picture of Michelle Dillon

Dear more awareness needed,

Firstly, I would like to sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to your post.

At PMH, breastfeeding mothers who have special dietary requirements can be referred to our Dietetics Department so that an appropriate meal plan can be discussed and arranged during their hospital stay. Our hospital café are also happy to provide allergy-friendly meals upon request.

I’m very sorry that this information wasn’t communicated to you and caused you unnecessary stress during your recent admission.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen again, we will communicate with all of our ward staff to ensure that they are fully aware of what we provide to mothers who are breastfeeding.

Thank you very much for taking the time to write to us. PMH strives to deliver excellent care to our patients and their families and genuinely appreciates and will learn from the feedback you’ve provided about your experience.

Kind regards

Michelle Dillon
Executive Director

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