"Early discharge and lack of support"

About: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children

(as a parent/guardian),

We've been to PMH multiple times within the last number of months due to febrile related seizures in our baby and we don't expect to be waited on hand and foot but would really appreciate it if there was more support for those entering a ward for the first time regardless of prior visits. On a few occasions we've received information and help from other families on the ward about services within the hospital when it shouldn't be their effort. I too have passed on this information to new patients because they were not made aware that there is plenty of support and services out there linked to this hospital. In my opinion, the parent's rooms are a joke, broken taps that aren't being fixed, broken plugs for the sink you wash your child's bottles in, broken arm chairs you sleep on because there's no other option, grimy kettles, the list goes on. There's the good and the bad which is to be expected, but if you make yourself heard you're made to feel like you're being difficult.

This is my 4th visit with this baby and for the first time we were offered formula, bottles and food for baby upon arrival. This is unacceptable, I wasn't even aware we could ask for such things in my previous stays and was lucky enough to have family to drop baby food, formula and bottles off as I couldn't leave the ward myself.

24hrs after waking up from an induced coma they told us we're going home after coming back from a walk- baby wasn't even on the ward when they made this decision! (We had to get outside in the cold air as the ward was too hot for our baby's fever) I was furious as the only thing keeping our baby's temp down was panadol and nurofen. Baby was still dopey and not them-self but attending staff tried telling me they can't do anything for us and they don't want our baby catching a bug on the ward. I know you can't do anything for us, but the one thing you can do is support us in our vulnerable state. Our baby's history of an early discharge with a previous hospital resulted in another seizure and another induced coma. Why should I be made to feel like I'm stupid and an inconvenience? We put our foot down and stayed another night. Our baby's temp became stable without medication and they were keen to get us out so we left and without anyone to pick us up we started our 2 hr trip home via public transport. I'm trusting medical staff less and less every time we need to rely on them.

Responses

Response from Victor Cheng, Executive Director, Health Service Managament

picture of Victor Cheng

Dear Inconvenience

Thank you very much for your honest feedback about your recent experiences at PMH.

I am genuinely sorry and disappointed to hear what has happened during your recent visits and inpatient stays at PMH and how we have made you feel.

You should certainly receive a ward induction each time your baby is admitted to a ward at PMH, as well as formula, bottles and food. I agree with you that this is unacceptable and I’m sorry that it happened on more than one occasion.

In relation to your specific concerns relating to broken taps in patient areas and patient rooms, I can confirm that these have now been fixed. I apologise that some aspects of the PMH facilities are less than satisfactory. It is fair to say that PMH is an ageing building and that some elements of the building require more maintenance than others.

In relation to your baby’s early discharge, we would like to investigate your concerns more thoroughly. I would greatly appreciate it if you could make contact with my team via email at PMH.Executive@health.wa.gov.au so we can learn more about what has happened and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

We rely on honest feedback to help us improve what we do and are very grateful to you for taking the time to tell your story.

Please accept my very best wishes for your baby.

Yours sincerely

Dr Victor Cheng
A/Executive Director
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children

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Response from Robyn Lawrence, Chief Executive, Child and Adolescent Health Service

picture of Robyn Lawrence

Dear Inconvenience

In line with the comments made by Dr Cheng, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences at PMH. I would also like to convey my apologies for what has happened and the effect that this has had on you and your family. I hope that you are happy to contact us again and would strongly encourage you to do so. This way, we can learn more about your story and improve the care and support we provide to you and many other patients and their families in the future.

Kind regards

Dr Robyn Lawrence
Chief Executive
Child and Adolescent Health Service;
Perth Children's Hospital Commissioning

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