"Poor communication"

About: Perth Children's Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

We have been waiting on surgery to be organised for my child for approx 4 months as gastro and ENT (ear, nose, throat) were doing a procedure at the same time. ENT booked it in and sent paperwork out, but we were told surgery should wait as the immunology proved my child is allergic to tape. This recommendation was ignored and when we attended pre op I asked if it was 2 procedures or 1 and was told they had managed to get the 2nd booked. I wasn't provided the name of the procedures or given paperwork and the nurse said it would be waiting on the day as I have to sign permission. The letter said we would receive a pre op anaesthetic phone call and it never arrived. Our paperwork said admission was between 11 and 11: 30 and I was told we would be in at 1pm. My husband took the day off work to be with me and we arrived at 11am. The nurse laughed and said you're early and I said no we're in at 1. She said we weren't due to arrive until 12:45 and the op was 3: 45. I was upset and annoyed as that changes pre op fasting and the care of my other kids. No apologies were made just that we should have received a call that the time was changed. It has knock on effects for how late we were at the hospital and how long our child would stay in post op etc., etc. This isn't a changed appointment this is surgery on a high risk patient.  


Response from Victor Cheng, Executive Director, Health Service Managament

picture of Victor Cheng

Dear LsMum

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I am very sorry to read of your experience, and the serious issues you have raised, particularly in relation to your child’s tape allergy, and also in regard to poor communication between departments and between PCH and yourself. We understand families need to make arrangements to attend appointments and every effort is made to work collaboratively with patients and their families to provide the best possible outcomes for patients. I apologise this was not your experience.

At PCH, patient allergies are treated extremely seriously so it is very disappointing and alarming that your child was treated with tape despite this being a noted allergy. It is important that our team can look into this matter further, to review our processes and make any changes as necessary to make improvements to our services. However, without details such as your child’s name and date of birth, we are unable to do this. I encourage you to contact the Child and Family Engagement Service (CaFES) so we can formally investigate your experience. Our CaFES Client Liaison Officers are available on (08) 6456 0032 or via CAHSfeedback@health.wa.gov.au. You can also speak to a Customer Liaison Officer in person at PCH by visiting the Family Resource Centre on the ground floor near the northern entrance.

Thank you again for bringing this matter to our attention. Please accept my sincere best wishes for your child.

Kind regards

Dr Victor Cheng
Executive Director
Perth Children's Hospital | Mental Health | Community Health

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