All recommendations made in an independent report into the death of a seven-year-old girl at Perth Children’s Hospital will be accepted by the Western Australian Government.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the 30 recommendations would be “accepted and acted upon immediately”, seven months after Aishwarya Aswath died.
Aishwarya died in the emergency department at Perth Children’s Hospital in April from organ failure due to sepsis while waiting for treatment.
Mr Cook apologised again to the parents of Aishwarya and praised their actions following her death.
“What dominates this report is their love for Aishwarya, their commitment to honour their legacy and their desire for answers and for change to benefit other children in the future.
“Through the anguish of loss and despair, Aishwarya’s parents became increasingly committed to honour the memory and legacy of Aishwarya by seeking to create an improved healthcare system for children.”
Mr Cook said he spoke with Aishwarya’s parents this morning.
He said despite the death of Aishwarya, families can have confidence in the staff at Perth Children’s Hospital.
“The tragedy continues to be felt deeply at the hospital and indeed across the entire health system,” Mr Cook said.
“The inquiry team noted that they interviewed many health care professionals at the hospital who were profoundly distressed by the death of Aishwarya and the unimaginable loss being experienced by her parents.”
Mr Cook said there had been many changes at the hospital since Aishwarya’s death.
Additionally, parents and carers will be able to escalate concerns about their child’s health in a hospital if they are still worried after speaking to a staff member, under new rules to be introduced in WA after Aishwarya’s death.
Metropolitan emergency rooms will be fitted with pink telephones so parents can speak to someone if they feel their child is sicker than hospital staff initially believe.
A recommendation of the report will look at how cultural differences and language issues could be addressed in the emergency room.
The report found Aishwarya’s parents had the “determined propensity not to be assertive and apply pressure to staff despite their fears”, WA Health Director-General Dr David Russell-Weisz said.
Dr Russell-Weisz acknowledged the work already taken to address the recommendations made by the report.
WA’s Chair of Child and Adolescent Health Dr Rosanna Capolingua said Aishwarya’s parents experienced “a lack of urgency, a lack of communication and a lack of compassion”.
“We may have failed hearing them on the night,” Dr Capolingua said.
“But we are committed to honouring Aishwarya’s memory.”