"My child's diabetes appointment"

About: Perth Children's Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

I was very disappointed when I came to Geraldton to attend the Diabetic Clinic for Perth Children's Hospital. My child has recently been diagnosed with type 1 which was a huge shock to our family.

We moved from PCH to Geraldton for our clinics as this was the closest. When we got there I was unsure where to go. I went into the wrong building to start but there was a lovely receptionist there who showed me where to go.

My child and I went in and it started very rushed and I found there was a lot of Healthcare workers moving around in, I felt, a bit of a panic. Then I started to feel anxious so I gave my child my phone to play so they wouldn't feel overwhelmed as well.

We went it and I felt like we were in and out very quickly. When we left the educators office I walked out to 3 or 4 patients on the chairs in the very small waiting room.  Then next the doctor in then out. While in there I burst into tears, after this I just felt worse. I spoke a little to the doctor but didn't feel as if I was given time to be heard, and as I walked out of the doctor office another walked in. It felt like there were a lot of other patients, parents and healthcare workers, and was extremely overwhelming for myself and my child.

I had no idea where to go or what to do so I just stood there until I was spoken to. From there I went in and spoke to the dietician who was lovely but in this process, people were coming in and out. I felt I had no privacy and that the Health staff that were there were rushing patients through with very little personal connection. in my opinion, there was no care that day.

I went home extremely upset and I was so disappointed in the way my child's appointment happened.  I am feeling extremely anxious to go to the next clinic as I am struggling with the diabetes journey that my family are on, I am feeling overwhelmed and I need more help with how to manage this condition. With all the COVID - 19 things happening at present I really hope it is better, but I worry that things will not improve.

I believe that these education days need to be more personal and that staff take care to understand each and every family that they see. I left feeling extremely overwhelmed and anxious and I had desperately wanted to leave feeling educated and supported. I am speaking up because I do not want this to happen to another family and have them feel the way that my child and I did this day.


Response from Elizabeth Broad, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Perth Children's Hospital 3 weeks ago
Elizabeth Broad
Clinical Nurse Consultant, Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology,
Perth Children's Hospital
Submitted on 09/11/2020 at 19:37
Published on Care Opinion on 10/11/2020 at 09:59

Dear Broken Heart,

Thank you for contacting the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) to raise concerns about the care and treatment provided by the PCH Diabetes Service in Geraldton. I am the Clinical Nurse Consultant that attends the Geraldton clinic and I have discussed your concerns with the diabetes team that attend the clinic with me. I have also made the Head of Department aware of your concerns.

Please may I sincerely apologise for the experience you’ve described and the distress this caused you and your child so early in your diabetes journey. I am particularly concerned that you felt rushed and uncared for and feel anxious about visiting the service again.

I am aware that the Geraldton clinic is a busy and growing clinic and I have for some time now been working within the diabetes team to adjust the way in which services are provided in the mid-west that may, in time, ease the clinic pressures that you have described. Your feedback is therefore invaluable in assisting the diabetes service to achieve this goal.

As you state that you are struggling to manage the new diagnosis of diabetes, please may I suggest that you contact me on 6456 5034 or by email (Elizabeth.Broad@health.wa.gov.au) so that I can provide some education and support? Alternatively, please let me know of a suitable time so that I may contact you.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Liz Broad

Clinical Nurse Consultant

Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology

Perth Children’s Hospital

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