In this section
Journalists are often
interested in profiling RCH patients and their families in the media. Here is
some information to help you during your child’s stay at the RCH.
A child’s time in hospital can be stressful
and difficult. During this time, families may be contacted directly by media.
This is particularly the case when a child is admitted following an accident,
has a rare condition or if media has read online about a child’s medical
RCH Corporate Communications is responsible for
managing all media relations at the hospital and is the first point of contact
for any media enquiry or visit to the hospital.
Corporate Communications is available to advise
and assist families in their dealings with media.
Media may approach you directly to write or
film a story about your child’s condition while they are an inpatient at the
Families who wish to invite media into the
hospital when their child is an in-patient must seek approval from Corporate
Communications who will gain approval of the medical staff caring for the
A Corporate Communications staff member will
accompany media during their visit, including for interviews, filming and
photography. This is primarily to ensure patients, families and visitors are
not disturbed during their stay at the RCH and that full written consent is
received before permitting media to film, photograph or interview our patients.
It is also to consult staff about media presence onsite and to ensure staff are
not interrupted while performing their jobs.
As the statewide major trauma centre for
paediatrics, the RCH provides emergency treatment and ongoing care for the
majority of Victoria’s most severely injured children.
To reduce the burden on you and your family
being contacted by media, and to minimise the risk of inaccurate reporting,
Corporate Communications will provide media with patient condition reports upon
The updates are very brief reports, ie.
"The patient is in a satisfactory/stable/serious/critical condition".
We respect and maintain the privacy of our
patients. For this reason, we will not confirm further details about your child
such as name, age, details of incident or injuries, family circumstances etc.
unless we have obtained full informed consent from you.
Corporate Communications may approach patients
and their families to seek their involvement in a story, especially in the
lead-up to Good Friday.
We will explain the purpose of the story, the
media involved and will accompany media at all times on their visit to the
hospital. This may include facilitating media on the ward and in theatre.
Families are under no obligation to participate.
The RCH is regularly asked to connect
journalists with patients who may be waiting for an organ donation or have
Australia’s organ and tissue donation program
is confidential, where neither the donor family nor the recipient and their
families know one another and care should be taken when speaking with media.
Corporate Communications is available to
explain sensitivities to media and to assist families in sharing their stories.
This will involve:
The primary focus of RCH staff is to deliver
great care to your child and family.
Taking photographs, images, videos or voice recordings of staff
at work (including conducting assessments and medical procedures or interacting
with patients) may interfere with their ability to care for your child.
Photographs and videos of staff are not to be
taken or used on personal social media or personal internet sites, including
blogs and fundraising pages, without prior approval and consent from all staff
If staff ask you to refrain from photographing
or filming, please do so. This is to ensure your child is getting their full
attention and to protect the personal privacy of staff.
Under no circumstances is photography or
filming permitted in the RCH Emergency Department or in Theatres.
Please also remember when posting images and
information on social media about your child’s admission to the RCH that media
can use this information and photographs to build a news story. Media are under
no obligation to seek permission from you to use material that you have posted
Families are also advised not to take medical
advice from social media or post correspondence about their child’s treatment
online. Treatment for each child is different and others may incorrectly use
this information to treat their child. Always consult your child’s GP or
clinician at RCH if you require medical advice.
We understand that patients and/or families may
wish to connect to a staff member via social media, however we ask that you
refrain from doing so. Staff are not permitted to form social relationships
with patients and families on social networking sites.
Contact the Corporate Communications team
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.