Corporate Communications

Media enquiries

  • 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.

    Corporate Communications 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.

    Visiting the hospital

    Media must contact Corporate Communications for approval to visit the hospital.

    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.

    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.

    VIP visitors to the hospital

    Corporate 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.

    Corporate 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.

    Filming of ambulance arrivals

    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 filming.

    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.

    Patient condition reports

    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 condition".

    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 updates.

    RCH experts for interview

    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 experts.

    Student requests

    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. 

    After hours

    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.

    Contacting Corporate Communications

    Media are invited to contact Corporate Communications to discuss story ideas.