"Hospital care for carers"

About: Perth Children's Hospital

(as a carer),

I'm not trying to complain but sharing my experience here at Perth Children's Hospital (PCH), hopefully this aids them into making this an even better place to stay. 

My child was admitted hospital and then not long later found ourselves on the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) heading down to Perth Children's Hospital ... what a facility, clean, big, lots of friendly staff and very modern ways of doing things.

When we got here it was early hours of the morning neither of us had much sleep on the flight over. We get placed in the Emergency Department and the room we got only had one bed so I had to hold my child while they slept. I had to stay awake as I was afraid they might roll off as they are less than a year old. It would have been nice to offer a cot to put my child in while I caught up on some sleep.

One of the nurses offered me some food and told me where I could get a coffee and watched my child while I went and made myself a coffee. While I made my coffee, the closest thing I could find to milk was a little sign that said please only use milk for tea and coffee as we are low on stock, so I had to drink my coffee black! Shortly after I got back the nurse finished doing their checks on my child and headed off and brought back two pieces of toast.

After the doctor had seen us in the morning and getting admitted (with private health), I get placed in a shared room not that this bothered me much until I found that the bathroom wasn't able to be locked?

So I could be in there and the other person staying next to me could just walk in?  There is no lock? It's not like the lock was broken, there actually isn't a lock at all

I was moved to a different ward and found that this shared room lacked the locking mechanism on the toilet door as well, however, someone came up with the brilliant idea of creating a sign saying occupied on one side and vacant on the other, rather fancy for a brand new facility!

Lots of boring waiting and looking at things in the room, time went by then and I asked if we get a lunch brought to us - being a caregiver of my sick kid should be fed meals right? No was the answer. I was told they can get me a sandwich if I couldn't get away right now. What? I don't get fed?

Lucky I got private health so I could go to the cafe and use the vouchers that came with private health. Quite clever really. I feel they think don't feed the carer so they don't need to use the toilet that they can't lock and maybe they won't realise if they don't need to go. 

Later I found out we get breakfast (that's it!). What did I get for breakfast? 2 weet-bix, 125ml of water (that I had to use for my child's cereal), 150ml of milk, 120g of diced fruit and 115g muffin. I'm a big breakfast kinda person, this would be enough for my toddler. So we don't get fed lunch or dinner, we have to go to the cafe and spend a small fortune to get a decent feed. I have a sick baby that I can't just walk away from to get food. Basically I have to time it around their infusion machine a few times throughout the day, sleep routine, bottles, nappies and doctor visits. By the way, I have to carry my child everywhere as I had to pack light when we were flown down here on the RFDS.

To top it off I asked for a jug of water so I could pour myself a drink and they came back with two little 125ml water yoghurt sized containers that I drank and still wanted more. So I had to buy a $3 bottle of water and refill it at the beverage bay (this is close to all of the rooms but lacks milk).

Small things like a clock in the room would be nice. Out of the 3 rooms I stayed in one room had a clock. Rooms are identical. In one of the rooms I stayed in the light couldn't be turned off right above the cot so I requested to be moved and was granted a new room. 

Hope this helps aid the Hospital to become a better place to stay.


Response from Aresh Anwar, Chief Executive, Child and Adolescent Health Service We are preparing to make a change

picture of Aresh Anwar

Dear Serpenszh93,

Many thanks for taking the time to feedback during what I can only imagine is a hugely stressful time for you and your family.

I hope that your child is continuing to make a recovery. Can I apologise for the experience you describe. We are reliant on feedback to help improve the way in which we care for children and their families. It is clear there are changes that we can potentially make as a consequence of your feedback and I will provide feedback once I have explored with the team.

I also wonder whether you would consider meeting me personally whilst you are in our hospital. I can be contacted on aresh.anwar@health.wa.gov.au.

I once again apologise and thank you for taking the time to feedback.

Aresh Anwar

Chief Executive

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