In this section
Corporate Communications is
responsible for managing all media relations at The Royal Children's Hospital
(RCH). This includes media enquiries relating to the hospital's services,
staff, patients and research activities.
is the first point of contact for any media enquiry or visit to the hospital.
The team aims to remain informed about hospital initiatives and can provide
guidance to media on appropriate hospital spokespeople for media stories, or
offer advice or direction to complement a story idea.
We are positioned
to reach staff quickly to discuss stories and arrange interviews where staff
are consenting. We can also approach patients and their families to seek their
involvement in a story.
Media must contact
Corporate Communications for approval to visit the hospital.
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.
While visiting the
hospital media are expected to adhere to the hospital's quality and safety
policies, including hand washing, privacy etc. Corporate Communications will
guide media on these matters.
Communications is the only department within (and outside) the hospital that may
invite media on site.
If external groups
such as sporting clubs, music groups, fundraising organisations etc., wish for
media (or their own media and digital teams) to accompany them on their
approved visit to the RCH, they must discuss this with Corporate Communications
prior to the visit to seek approval.
Communications will determine which/how many media outlets may visit the
hospital depending on the location of the planned visit. For example, where
space is minimal such as on inpatient wards, one television crew may be asked
to pool their vision for other crews wishing to attend.
Media and digital
teams from external groups must follow the same guidelines as general media
when visiting the hospital.
If external groups are visiting
patients without media, permission must first be sought from Corporate
Communications, and the only photographs permitted are on patients’ own
devices. Families wishing to invite VIP visitors must first seek approval from Corporate Communications.
Media may be
permitted to film road ambulance arrivals only from within the designated zone
marked ‘MEDIA’. This zone is located in the Emergency car park, accessible via
Flemington Road Entrance 2, just past the Emergency department main entrance.
All crew and equipment must remain inside the MEDIAzone for the duration of
Please note: There is no car parking available for media in the Emergency car park.
Media may park on the street in line with council signage, or in the
underground RCH car park at standard rates.
Following a review
of our policy regarding filming of air ambulance arrivals, the RCH ended its
policy allowing media access to the RCH rooftop in January 2016.
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 minimise the risk of
inaccurate reporting, and to reduce the burden on families who may be contacted
by media about their child's injuries, Corporate Communications will provide
media with patient condition reports upon request.
The updates are very brief
reports, ie. "The patient is in a satisfactory/stable/serious/critical
We respect and will maintain the
privacy of our patients and families. For this reason, we will not confirm
further details about the patient such as name, age, details of incident or
injuries, family circumstances etc. unless we have obtained full informed
consent from the child's parent or guardian to do so.
Please note: Corporate Communications relies upon a
patient's treating staff to provide an accurate condition report. We will not
interrupt staff while they are treating patients to obtain this information. We
will not call on staff unnecessarily overnight to obtain condition report
The RCH has experts on a broad
range of paediatric health topics who may be available to assist you with your
stories and story ideas. Click here to view our range of Departments and Services.
Please contact Corporate
Communications if you wish to submit a request to speak with one of our
As a functioning hospital, it can
be difficult to accommodate requests from journalism/media/public relations
students to interview or engage RCH staff and families in their projects, however
we are happy to discuss your query.
Corporate Communications provides
a seven day a week media service to ensure the community can be informed, via
the media, about necessary information regarding our patients, staff and
statewide health emergencies.
Please note: After hours we run an 'on call' service for
urgent media enquiries only. These include patient condition reports. This
service is available from 6am-9am and 5pm-10pm weekdays and from 6am-10pm on
weekends. In the event of an emergency, the on-call service may be extended. Non-urgent
enquiries can be directed to Corporate Communications during business hours.
Media are invited to contact
Corporate Communications to discuss story ideas.