Making a difference: couple aim to save parents heartache
A TWEED family is behind a campaign that's set to roll out in hospitals across the state, encouraging parents to speak up if they're worried something is not right with their child's health.
Kingscliff couple Naomi and Grant Day have been lobbying for the REACH program to be made available to parents, families and carers following the death of their son, Kyran, in a Sydney Hospital in 2013, after a catastrophic misdiagnosis meant he was treated for gastro instead of bowel obstruction.
Ms Day said the family hoped REACH, which provides a patient and family with further options to escalate concerns and have medical staff review the condition of loved ones, would prevent others enduring similar heartache to them.
"I definitely think more parents might speak up if they realise this program is coming from one parent to another,” she said.
"For quite a while the community has been scared to raise their hand.
"But I made a point to say, and this is more so for children and babies, that they don't have a voice.
"So us as parents or family members need to be their voice and parents, families and care givers need to raise it for them if we're concerned that something is not right.”
The Tweed Byron Health Service Group (TBHSG) rolled out the REACH program on June 1 across all inpatient areas at Tweed Hospital and Murwillumbah Hospital.
Darleen Berwick, Murwillumbah District Hospital Deputy Director of Nursing, said REACH encouraged patients, family and carers to "engage with their nurse or medical team, if they are concerned, and provides avenues to escalate concerns for a review of a patient's condition”.
Mrs Day said the family had been working with the government and expected REACH to soon be in place in hospitals state-wide.
"We're working with NSW Health's Clinical Excellence Unit in Sydney and it has been made mandatory through the health minister that all local health districts have the REACH program implemented,” she said.
"It will just be a matter of getting around to them all, doing a presentation, sharing Kyran's story and then getting the posters (and flyers) out so that parents and family members see them and know what to do.”
Mrs Day said the posters, sharing Kyran's story and promoting REACH, will be put in all the paediatric areas of hospitals.