"Poor relationship between allied health and paediatric surgeons"

About: The Townsville Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

As our child is medically complex, we spend a lot of time in different areas of the hospital. Overall, I am happy with how holistic the care has been. Most of our care providers communicate our child's progress with one another, and keep their records up to date so handover is always smooth. However, this always seems to fall short with surgical clinics.

It sometimes seems that my child's surgeon may not care what is going on with my child or what progress has been made- but I feel like at least a quick flick through the notes would make the appointment run smoother. During today's appointments the surgeon told me my child was gaining too much weight, and that whatever another department was doing they were clearly doing wrong. The surgeon said we need to do more to stop my child from gaining weight. If they had taken the time to ask, they would know that we see senior allied health staff weekly, my child is on next to no calories, is getting tested for hyperthyroidism and that my child's diet consumes most of my time every day.

This is not the first time the surgeon has insinuated that another department at TTH aren't doing their job. Sad to see a member of the TTH team putting down other health professionals.

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Responses

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear jellen17,

Thank you for you your feedback on what sounds like a disappointing consultation on a few levels for which I apologise that you and your child have had to experience this.

Having a child that is ill and requires weekly visits to our hospital must be worrying and exhausting for you and your family. I am relieved to hear that your child receives a holistic approach to their care and that information is shared effectively a majority of the time.

I agree that it is sad to hear of staff being put down in front of you as you obviously have regular contact with these senior allied health professionals, so to hear of them being ‘put down’ in front of you would no doubt, cause you to feel sad; this is not appropriate communication and not conducive to your child’s consultation, I am sorry you experienced this jellen17.

Please know that we take feedback seriously and I will forward your story of your experience to our Surgical Service Group Director.

If you would like to discuss your experience in more detail so that we can explore the issues you have raised, I encourage you to contact staff in our Client Liaison Office on 44331074 to discuss further.

Thank you again for sharing your story so that we may learn from your experience; I hope your child’s health improves and they go from strength to strength.

I wish you all the very best for the future.

With kind regards

Julie Shepherd

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