Family Room for Ward 1A
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We support this letter to express our concerns and feelings as a group of parents on the Oncology Ward 1A and Haemotology Ward at Perth Children’s Hospital. We are very grateful for the new hospital and it’s amazing technology and new features. The rooms are beautiful and spacious and we love the Day beds for parents as they are so much better than sleeping in a recliner chair for months on end.
However what we do miss more than anything else in the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Even though we have wonderful single rooms now lots of families are expressing that they are so much more isolated now and feel we have lost the warmth and wonderful community spirit and support we had in PMH with the Ronald MacDonald room. We want to be working as a team both hospital staff and families to help our unwell children.It was a beautiful space where we all members of the family and friends could relax on the comfy lounges and watch tv, prepare meals in the kitchen and use the toilet and showering facilities. We want to be working as a team with all the amazing hospital staff and families for our unwell children.
Even though the hospital was older it had a certain warmth and comfort to it. While you were cooking a meal with your child you could chat and support other families with similar stories of childhood cancer or blood disorders. We were able to support each other on a difficult journey but one we were all sharing.
We have also loss contact with Day Patients as they are in a different section now. But occasionally the day patients and families need a place to sit and relax while waiting for appointments. Also new admissions sometimes do not have anywhere to wait so the RMFR would be useful for this.
The simple solution is to swap the adolescent school room from where it is located at the moment with the kitchen in it to the room next to the primary school teaching room on way into the ward. Then both teachers and parents will be able to be happy. Teachers will not have to lock the doors during school hours as is being done now. Then the parents can prepare a meal at any time during the day or get food or drink from the fridge without upsetting the teaching staff by interrupting them. The pool table and lounge that is still on its way can be moved into the adolescent school room and parents can have the much needed Ronald MacDonald House room back.
There are hospital volunteers already coming each Tuesday and Wednesday to bake snacks for all hospital staff and patients and families. More are ready to join and help out again. This is loved by all and creates a wonderful community feel between patients, families and all staff members.
The kitchen can be booked by teachers when they need to do a cooking lesson. Also the interactive whiteboard can be moved into the school room so that it is not accessible to families and will be looked after by the teachers. It seems sensible for both sets of teachers- Primary and High School to be next to each other so they can pop in to see each other for meetings or to discuss learning programmes easily. This in our opinion is the best solution to a ongoing problem on the ward. We could also do with the one of the fridges from the family room located outside of the lifts next to 1A/1B and between Day patients clinics K/L into either the Paediatric 1A family room or adolescent family room. These fridges are under utilised and also at risk to contamination as accessible to the general public. Not good for childhood cancer or blood disorder patients with compromised immunity and no neutrophils.
We appreciate your help with helping us to help our children in a fully supported way. Thank you.
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