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Perth Children’s Hospital ‘staff shortfall’ leaves family in limbo

Steve Mills
Article image for Perth Children’s Hospital ‘staff shortfall’ leaves family in limbo

A Perth father has vented his frustration after his child’s surgery was postponed just hours after being prepped for surgery.

Joel Charles told 6PR’s Steve Mills, his son Chase was admitted to Perth Children’s Hospital at 7.45am today and was prepped for his category two surgery before being told the bad news.

“At 9.30 after being there a few hours the Doctor comes in and says the surgery won’t go ahead today because we don’t have any ICU nurses,” he said.

12-year-old Chase requires a CPAP machine to breath, and needs to undergo surgery on his salivary glands.

But due to COVID-19 the life-saving surgery has been postponed multiple times.

“Lives are on the line here, I know what we are going through at the moment with COVID is pretty severe, but there is life after and before that, that is just as important, if not more important,” Mr Charles said.

“Because of his condition, and because he has had multiple surgeries before, he needs to go to intensive care after.”

In a statement Acting Chief Executive at Perth Children’s Hospital, Simon Wood said PCH has experienced a staff shortfall after a recent spike in critical care.

“Perth Children’s Hospital has been managing a recent spike in the number of patients requiring intensive care in the PCH Paediatric Critical Care Unit,” he said.

“The level of acuity of the current patients has meant that many are requiring longer stays than usual in the Paediatric Critical Care Unit.

“The high acuity and occupancy levels of PCH PCC, coupled with a number of PCC nursing staff requiring unplanned leave today, has unfortunately required surgery to be rescheduled.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

Steve Mills
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