"Poor child health service"

About: Broome Community Health Service

(as a parent/guardian),

As new parents in Broome, we were excited to link in with child health services to gain support with our new baby, but unfortunately, the service was not up to scratch in my opinion. I felt the length of the home visit was about 10mins. My baby was weighed and that was all. There was no education or questions about how I was doing. I was then experiencing anxiety and breastfeeding issues but I felt this was all brushed off.

Our baby was then regularly weighed due to weight concerns. I had to keep an eye on our baby's weight and see if they were adequately growing as I felt the clinician who didn't seem to take much notice of the weight or know their previous weights. At one stage I believe our baby wasn't gaining adequate weight. I only knew this thanks to a friend who is a child health nurse. I had to advocate for my baby as I believe the services at community health was pointless. I was told to just put my baby on formula by one of the clinicians as they laughed as the baby's weight gain was low but no plan was formed. We asked the nurse to liaise with the paeds team. However, we never received any feedback. We left feeling extremely frustrated and at a loss.

We had our 4m old child health check in Perth as we wanted a proper check and knew we wouldn't receive this in Broome as many mums had told us the checks were 10mins long and they received no help or guidance. I believe their babies were just weighed but nothing was followed up even if there were weight issues. 

Mother group was dismal in my opinion. There were no introductions or any education from the clinicians. There were some guest speakers but I felt the clinicians just talked to a college the whole time over the top of the speakers.

I felt the clinicians didn't do any education at all. I believe other mums have purchased sleep programs and starting solids online support programs due to the lack of service and support in Broome.

As a mum, it is hard to find the time to complete this but unfortunately, this isn't the first instance that I have heard these concerns. I believe it is well known amongst mums that many people do not access the child health service in Broome as I believe they have found it useless and go to their Gp for help instead, as the clinician just always says everything is fine. I feel the practice is unsafe and as a mother, we should be able to trust the health service and advice we receive. I have heard from various mums that they felt like they were just left to their own devices, nothing was followed up, they were given no support and constantly brushed off when they had concerns. I believe no breastfeeding information or education was given and they were told their babies are doing fine, then when they saw their GP or paeds their babies weren't fine and needed support in relation to growth. 

I feel it's such a shame that this is the only child health service available to the mums of Broome.

Responses

Response from Ruth Crawford, KPHU Director, Kimberley Population Health Unit, WACHS Kimberley 2 weeks ago
We are preparing to make a change
Ruth Crawford
KPHU Director, Kimberley Population Health Unit,
WACHS Kimberley

I manage all aspects of the Community health, Allied Health, Remote Area Nurses and Public Health for WACHS Kimberley

Submitted on 11/11/2020 at 12:29
Published on Care Opinion at 12:29


Dear antliakp75,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about the Maternal and Child Health Service in Broome.

While having a new baby is exciting, it can also be a very stressful time and we want all of our new parents to feel safe and well supported in their community. I am saddened to hear how you have been left feeling and I am sorry that we have not met your needs at this very important time.

Child Health nurses play an invaluable role in both supporting new parents to adapt to the impact of changes in their social, emotional and physical environments after their baby is born, as well as supporting the health, development and wellbeing of children.

I would like to assure you that as a result of your feedback, I will be working hard with our team to improve the quality of care we provide to all parents and their babies. This involves reviewing the support we currently provide to new parents and looking for opportunities to improve, along with an evaluation of the Mothers Group program.

I would really like the opportunity to talk to you to learn more about your experience, which will help us to identify any areas for improving what we do. My name is Ruth Crawford and I am the Director for Population Health. Please feel free to contact me by phone (08) 9194 1630 or by email at: ruth.crawford@health.wa.gov.au.

Thank you again for reaching out to us. I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Ruth Crawford

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