Extensive work has been undertaken at Western Health to design and implement a program for patient’s families and carers to escalate their concerns when they are worried about deterioration of a patient.
Western Health recognises that patients, families and carers are able to detect subtle early signs of clinical deterioration.The Call for Help program supports this by allowing patients, families and carers to activate the Call for Help response. The call for HELP program allows patients, family members and carers to directly escalate their concerns regarding patient clinical deterioration via a clearly defined 3 step process. Call for HELP is not an escalation process for complaints or routine clinical care.
Consultation with our Consumers played a key role in the development the Western Health Call for Help program. Visual displays outlining the process to initiate a Call for Help call have been placed in key areas located ward areas and in prominent positions which encourages concerned patients or relatives to firstly speak to their nurses/midwives, doctors or the Nurse or Midwife in Charge, if they have a concern or are worried. (Steps 1&2).
Ringing the Call for HELP phone number is the final stage in 3 step process patients, family members and carers can use when they are worried or feel that a patients’ health has deteriorated and needs urgent clinical support, even if clinical markers are normal.