"COVID screening at entrance"

About: St George Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

I took my very young teenager to get a blood test at St George Hospital Kogarah. My child has Down Syndrome and is therefore non-verbal, and very sensory sensitive around their face and head especially.

So when we had to go and get screened at the entrance one of the nurses said to my child to let me check your temperature and which my child shook their head. I said to the nurse oh sorry my child doesn't like being touched so you probably won't be able to get their temperature but I know they are well and not sick.

The other nurse then went into what a I felt was a heavy-handed mode saying that they need to check my child or we can't come in. To which I asked what the issue was and that I realise it's important but unless you want to tie my child down and force it on them, which I would not allow anyway, there's nothing else they can do. In my opinion, the nurse then proceeded to shout at me telling me to calm down and not raise my voice which I believe I wasn't doing.

I feel there should be some leniency surrounding this, especially young children and children with sensory issues. As I said, I understand the need to be screening but bringing a child who hates blood tests and hospitals anyway, it adds to the stress and anxiety that both of us feel. Usually, a half-hour appointment where we can be in and out turned into a 2-hour ordeal for my child.

I usually have such positive things to say about the hospital but sadly, this occasion was not one of them.


Response from Paul Darcy, General Manager, St George Hospital last week
Paul Darcy
General Manager,
St George Hospital

General Manager of St George Hospital

Submitted on 20/11/2020 at 14:22
Published on Care Opinion at 14:37

Dear Emdobe,

Thank you for your feedback. I am very sorry to hear of your experience with your child at our hospital.

It is imperative that all people entering our hospital are screened prior to entry. We must follow the screening guidelines that are set by the Ministry of Health.

We do have thermal temperature scanners at each entry point, and this method of temperature checking does not involve any touching. I will make sure that your feedback is provided to the Manager of the screening staff to ensure that all staff are aware of the special needs of some of our visitors.

I do apologise for the distress the caused you and your son.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Darcy

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