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SPEAK UP - Seek a 2nd Opinion

Posted on February 01 2018

SPEAK UP - Seek a 2nd Opinion

Speak Up - Seek a 2nd Opinion

January 16, 2018 | Charlotte Stevens

This is a bit of a different blog post. 

Whilst not directly related to our products this time, but something that I believe everyone needs to know about. 

I am often hearing about parents who are taking their children to their GPs time and time again, concerned that something isn’t quite right. To get the same old response.

“oh you’re just a 1st time mum you’ll get the hang of it” “he/she is just finding their routine don’t stress” “this is just a part of the teething experience” …..the list is endless.


And every now and again is is simply that. Bub is just finding their feet and figuring it out on their own. But there is the odd occasion that something isn’t right.

Recently my BFF - was having issues with her newborn, and she wasn't getting the answers she was after. She felt guilty and was struggling to understand what was wrong. It took countless visits to different GP's to find out that her bub was a very easy to fix lip tie. 

Bubba now sleeps better, feeds better and is just an all round much happier baby. It took persistence on my BFFs behalf, but she finally found someone who listened and helped.  

My advice – don’t stop taking them to the doctors. It's your right as a tax paying citizen, that you get the opportunity to seek medical attention. 

As a parent or carer its totally normal to become concerned when something isn’t normal with the your child. It gets even harder when they can’t communicate what is wrong with them and its difficult to watch them suffer.



There is something called Ryan's Rule. If you feel you’re not being listened to and that the Dr's or nurses aren’t taking notice then you have the opportunity to invoke Ryan rule. 

Ryan's Rule came about when 3 year old Ryan Saunders was misdiagnosed and sent home. 4 days later, still not showing signs of improvement, he was taken to hospital via ambulance and still remained un-diagnosed. 30 hours later, he sadly passed away. His parent’s knew something so much more than what the Drs were saying was wrong. They knew their baby boy was in pain.

Later on the coroner found that Ryans passing was highly preventable.

The Health Quality and Complaints Commission made recommendations and as a result of both outcomes Ryan’s Rule was developed. Ryan’s Rule was established by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service, Department of Health in consultation with consumers and clinicians statewide. It was incrementally rolled out state wide to all public hospital between December 2013 and March 2015. They system is now implemented in all Queensland Health Public Hospitals.

Ryan’s Rule allows parents, carers and family members to request a Clinical Review of a patient of any age who is being treated in a Queensland Health Hospital if they feel their concerns are not being heard.

There is a misconception that Ryan’s Rule only applies to children, but this is incorrect it can be requested for a patient of any age. Once requested, a nurse or doctor will attend to the patient to review the situation and provide assistance. 

So to put it simply – if you think something is wrong.
Please SPEAK UP and let them know you wish to invoke Ryans Rule.



Ryans Rule is available only in QLD, however across Australia there are other programs that you can call on if you need to.

Currently in NSW, there is a program called REACH 
(Recognise, Engage, Act, Call and Help is on its way). 

REACH was developed as a safety net for patients where their family members noted their condition had deteriorated. While this program has been implemented in a number of hospitals in NSW, it does not appear to be state wide.

Canberra Hospital has the CARE (Call And Respond Early) program. This process is very similar to Ryan’s Rule in that the family member is asked to discuss their concerns with the nursing staff prior to contacting a telephone number requesting a review of the patient. 

It would appear however that there is no similar process in any of the other States or Territories of Australia. Patient Liaison Officers can be contacted to attend upon the patients and/or their families and discuss their concerns with them.


Regardless of your state 

The Australian healthcare charter in each state gives patients the right to ask for a second opinion on their care and treatment. You should always follow your instincts and exercise this right whenever you are not satisfied with a diagnosis or treatment.  You can visit the Safety and Quality website to read more about your rights in the charter.  

The outcome for Ryan’s parents was tragic and they have suffered the worst outcome possible by losing their precious boy. The legacy left behind by Ryan however has already potentially saved lives.

See below for more information 


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