Director of medical services in the South Burnett, Dr Isaac Hohaia, in front of the Kingaroy Hospital.
Director of medical services in the South Burnett, Dr Isaac Hohaia, in front of the Kingaroy Hospital. Jessica McGrath

Hospital responds to mum's ER saga

LAST week we told the story of Kaitee Hopkins' ordeal with her sick four-year-old. Ms Hopkins did everything she could to avoid taking Addyson to the emergency department, however her child's health was deteriorating. Ms Hopkins said it took three visits before she felt Addyson was given the treatment she needed for her severe tonsillitis and ear infection. You can read that story here, and find Kingaroy Hospital's response to it below.

"This week I have reached out to the family who detailed their experiences in the South Burnett Times," director of medical services for South Burnett Dr Isaac Hohaia said.

"Due to patient confidentiality legislation, I can't discuss the care of our patients in any more detail, or the nature of my discussions with this family."

However, Dr Hohaia said the health and wellbeing of South Burnett residents was at the heart of their work at Kingaroy Hospital.

"Everyone who attends our emergency department is seen by our nurses and doctors," he said.

"No one is turned away. Patients are triaged according to the severity of their illness. This can mean you may wait some time if your medical concern isn't deemed to be an emergency.

"Our team goes to work every day with the very best of intentions to do the right thing by our patients and their families.

"We encourage our patients and their families to provide feedback on their experiences at our hospital. We want to know what we have done well and the areas we can improve.

"People can provide feedback in a number of ways, including speaking with our staff who are caring for you, or the manager of the ward, or by completing a feedback form which are located across the hospital or online via the Darling Downs Health website."

Dr Hohaia said parents with unwell children could call a "Ryan's Rule" if they remained concerned about their child and would like to request a higher-level second opinion.

A Ryan's Rule, named after Ryan Saunders who died from an undiagnosed Streptococcal infection which led to toxic shock syndrome in 2007, is a three-step process allowing parents, family and carers to raise concerns about a patient's treatment.

"Alternatively, if you want to discuss your treatment, we encourage you to contact the Darling Downs Health Consumer Liaison Service during business hours on 4616 6152," he said.

If at any time you are concerned about your health or the health of a loved one, and you are unsure of the best course of action, you can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice. This confidential phone service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Step one: Talk to a nurse or doctor about your concerns.

If you are not satisfied with the response, move to step two.

Step two: Talk to the nurse in charge of the shift.

If you are not satisfied with the response, move to step three.

Step three

Phone 13 Health (13 43 25 84) or ask a nurse and they will call on your behalf. Request a Ryan's Rule Clinical Review and provide the following information:

- hospital name

- patient's name

- ward, bed number (if known)

- contact phone number.

A Ryan's Rule nurse or doctor will review the patient and assist.