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Child and Adolescent

Challenges, priorities and initiatives

Health service challenges

  • meeting demand for emergency services
  • managing elective surgery waitlists
  • a growing population, and better diagnostic and life-saving techniques leading to increased demand for all services
  • Aboriginal health
  • specialised workforce requirements
  • participation in the National Health Reform agenda.

In the next two years the key priorities for CAHS include:

  • consolidating our services to ensure a comprehensive continuum of care from early childhood through to transition to adult services
  • working with the Mental Health Commission to ensure the ongoing development of mental health services for children and young people
  • working with other agencies and non-government organisations to provide a wide range of service delivery options
  • working with the Aboriginal community to improve the health of Aboriginal children in WA.

New Children’s Hospital Project

  • Development of a $1.2 billion, 274-bed replacement hospital, co-located with adult services at Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre.
  • Construction commenced in January 2012 and full relocation by December 2015.
  • Will include Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and education precinct developed in collaboration with university partners.

Safety Quality and Performance

  • Patient safety and quality improvement programs are aligned to the Western Australian Strategic Plan for Safety and Quality in Health Care 2008–2013 and its associated annual action plans.
  • All services work to ensure that patients, families and carers are involved in the planning and provision of health care.

Outpatient Redesign Program at PMH

  • The Outpatient Redesign Program aims to improve the journey for children and adolescents under 16 years of age accessing outpatient appointments at PMH.
  • To better meet the needs of patients, the redesign is focussing on:
    • reducing the wait time for first appointments
    • reducing the rate of non-attended appointments to less than 10 per cent
    • reducing the average waiting room time.

Newborn Hearing Screening Program

  • This program is currently exceeding a 95 per cent statewide target for screening newborn babies.

Aboriginal Health

  • A number of key initiatives are underway to improve Aboriginal health including:
    • CAHS Reconciliation Action Plan
    • CAHS Aboriginal Health Action and Advisory Committee
    • CAHS Aboriginal Health Team
    • CAHS Aboriginal Employment Strategy.


  • Child and Adolescent Community Health works closely with universities and independent research institutes, including the Telethon Institute of Child Health Research, to conduct research into various areas of child health.

Non Government Organisations

  • Princess Margaret Hospital for Children (PMH) has received funding from Telethon since 1983. During that time, Telethon has provided grants to PMH for the acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment, specialist facilities and research.
  • The PMH Foundation is the official fundraising body for Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. The charity provides funding for medical equipment, specialist services, research, capital projects, education and training.

Improving access to emergency care

The Four Hour Rule Program commenced in WA in 2009-2010 with the aim of ensuring that the majority of patients arriving at our emergency departments (EDs) are seen, admitted, discharged or transferred within a four-hour timeframe.

In August 2011, Western Australia committed to national reforms including a National Emergency Access Target (NEAT). The NEAT requires 90 per cent of all patients presenting to an eligible reporting ED to be seen, admitted, referred to another hospital for treatment, or discharged within four hours where it is clinically appropriate to do so.

Targets and reporting will reflect the nationally agreed NEAT. National targets for WA are:

  • 2012 = 76 per cent
  • 2013 = 81 per cent
  • 2014 = 85 per cent
  • 2015 = 90 per cent

Western Australia is now leading the nation in terms of our performance against the new national targets and will therefore maintain a minimum target of 85 per cent until 2015.

Percentage of ED patients admitted, discharged or transferred within four hours:
Site 2012 NEAT target for WA Current WA target Performance Jul-Sep 2011 Qtr
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children 76% 85% 92.9%

All data current at October 2011.

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