"My child's admission to PMH"

About: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

We have been in the care of a particular ward at PMH for over 2. 5 years now. Apparently there is a change of protocol that means when our child is having a medical emergency we can no longer take them straight to this ward. We need to go to ED first.

We arrived late in the evening and was put straight into isolation, which was good as our child's immune system is compromised. This is where good stopped. It basically took 3 hours to make our child downstairs to their bed. Staff in the ward hadn't even been informed we'd arrived and they had previously put our child in the system so ED knew they were expecting him. I ended up phoning them myself as every staff member, who were very busy, obviously omitted to follow up on what they said they were doing.

I understand that the protocol must be followed in most cases, but I really think that any ongoing patients of this ward should still be allowed to go straight to the ward, bypassing germs from other people's illnesses and receiving the rapid treatment that they need.

Responses

Response from Victor Cheng, Executive Director, Health Service Managament

picture of Victor Cheng

Dear Protocol,

Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience at PMH. I am sorry that your experience was frustrating. Please be assured that the decision that all admissions must occur via the Emergency Department was not made lightly, but implemented as a result of a thorough review and assessment of patient safety, in consultation with patients and families. This admission pathway has been operational since August 2016, and a full audit is due to occur in November next year, to evaluate the model of care. Your feedback will be considered as part of this audit.

However, your comments around our communication processes are very concerning to me, and I apologise for any communication problems that caused unnecessary distress to you and your family. We would welcome the opportunity to investigate the specific circumstances around your child’s admission, so we can ensure that correct process was followed and review our communication processes based on your experience. As such, I encourage you to contact my team via PMH.Executive@health.wa.gov.au so we can look into this matter further.

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 sincere best wishes for your child.

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 Protocol,

In line with the comments made by Dr Cheng, I would also like to extend my thanks to you for taking the time to share your experiences at PMH. It is disappointing to hear of the communication issues on the night of your child’s admission; however, receiving this information, through your feedback, provides us with an opportunity to improve. As such, I would also like to encourage you to reach out to Dr Cheng’s team directly, so that they can endeavour to improve intra-hospital communications and the flow of information, as well as thoroughly review your child’s admission to be sure that all protocol was followed correctly.

Kind regards,

Dr Robyn Lawrence

Chief Executive

Child and Adolescent Health Service, Perth Children's Hospital Commissioning

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