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"Information and assertions"

About: Bassendean Child Health Clinic

(as a parent/guardian),

I attended (1x home visit, 1x visit at the clinic) for my infant child at the Bassendean Infant Health Clinic (BIHC). It seemed our clinician on both occasions left a lot to be desired in terms of personal opinion and anecdotes colouring the medical advice offered. Not just our own experience but I believe others in the mother’s group shared this opinion.

For example, 'sleep training' was not encouraged. But there have been instances where baby sleep has been discussed and I recall the advice is that the baby must not be waking overnight. Without any medical advice to support this, I feel it misdirects first time parents and is incredibly unhelpful. I believe an infant health clinician should be providing advice to support parents, not driving them down the same path as them.

On our first meeting, we were also told that baby wearing is good but don't do it too much. I recall the advice was that the child will then expect it. I still don't really understand what this means.

Thankfully my partner has studied childhood development and has an understanding of the scientific method, otherwise I feel there is a risk that the advice offered provides more harm than good.

Once again I come back to the fact that we should feel supported with information from our child health clinician, not provided with anecdotal advice in my opinion.

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Responses

Response from Anne-Marie McHugh, A/Nurse Co-Director, Community Health, Child and Adolescent Health Service 10 months ago
Anne-Marie McHugh
A/Nurse Co-Director, Community Health,
Child and Adolescent Health Service
Submitted on 11/03/2022 at 7:30 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 14/03/2022 at 9:47 AM


Dear plutoje84

Thank you for your feedback relating to your recent experience with a child health nurse at the Bassendean Child Health Clinic.

In Community Health, the role of the child health nurse is to promote the health, wellbeing and appropriate growth and development of children and babies. This includes providing parents with evidenced based information about breastfeeding, growth, nutrition, sleep, behaviour, play and immunisation to help achieve optimal health and developmental outcomes.

Our staff are supported to practice within robust policies, procedures, standards, regulations and legislation. Unfortunately, it appears from your feedback that this has not occurred on this occasion and I apologise for any distress this has caused.

If you would like to discuss the matter further, I invite you to please contact our Consumer Engagement Team by calling (08) 6456 0032 between 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday or email CAHSFeedback@health.wa.gov.au.

Kind regards

Anne-Marie McHugh
A/Nurse Co-Director Community Health
Child and Adolescent Health Service.

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