Listen – If you Listened to my Mummy


Learn to Listen
Identify with the patient – don’t dismiss or belittle them.
Stop & think – why are they worried? Do they have good reason?

Learn to Listen

The golden rule of paediatric assessment is:


If they are concerned about something, you should be too.

“Advanced paediatric life support. I believe listening is powerful medicine. Listening to someone’s story costs less than diagnostic testing but is key to diagnosis and healing.”
Dr Alicia Conill, Clinical Associate Professor,University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine.

Identify with the patient & family

Don’t dismiss or belittle: Respect their fears and concerns and offer encouragement to share them. They know the patient better than anyone.

It is intimidating for a patient or family member to speak up.  When they do, it is for good reason.
Please remember that they might be suffering in silence for days before plucking up the courage to say something.
Think about the future: if you or a family member needs hospital care, think about how you or they would like to be treated.

Stop and think
Before moving onto the next patient, Stop for a moment and think.

Why are  the family worried? Do they have good reason?
Doctors are trained to make decisions autonomously and disregard outsiders input.
Please do not ignore their concerns. When something goes wrong, you lose a patient – But the family lose a child or loved one forever.

Take action

Investigating patient or family concerns benefits everyone.
It is an opportunity to ensure your diagnosis is correct. Families are reassured and the patient has the best possible chance.
Investigate patients or families concerns. Order tests, recheck all medical notes. Ask questions.
Talk to your colleagues. Look again with fresh eyes and without bias.


Ask yourself: What did I learn?
Ask yourself: What would have happened if I ignored the patient’s and family’s concerns?
Ask yourself: What will I do next time a similar situation arises?
Educate colleagues. Share stories. Learn from mistakes.

Never let this happen again.

Never let another tragedy like Hayley’s ever happen again.
Honour her memory by learning to listen.