A team of medical professionals standing in a heart shapeSome families may have noticed that the cardiac surgical problem at BC Children’s Hospital has been in the news due to the disruption of some surgeries. We are reaching out to families to let you know how the Children’s Heart Network of BC (CHN) can support families affected by this temporary situation.

CHN have been in conversations with the Heart Centre at BC Children’s Hospital and have been assured that the hospital’s number one priority is to get the surgical program back on track. They have emphasized that the rest of the cardiology team—the nurses, cardiologists, and other specialists—are continuing to support our heart children and families as usual. They have also told us that families who have been affected by this disruption in surgeries have been supported by a team including social work at the hospital that is working closely with the Heart Centre. We at CHN understand that this is a unsettling time for heart families, but this is a temporary situation, and we have the utmost confidence in BC Children’s Hospital.

CHN was founded almost 30 years ago as a provincial not-for-profit organization with the goals of supporting, informing, and educating families, children, and youth who are living with acquired or congenital heart disease.  We are here to support all families that are  affected by this disruption. If you have had to travel for your child’s surgery or know you will need to in the coming weeks, please reach out to Sam Aitken, CHN’s provincial coordinator at saitken@childrensheartnetwork.org or 604-961-0380. Through our parent resource program, she can connect you to other families who have had to travel for surgeries in the past; they can offer their experiences and insights.

Some parents have reached out to CHN looking for a platform to speak to this issue at the hospital. If you would like to add your input to this situation at the hospital, we can suggest the following two channels:

Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO) of the Provincial Heath Services Authority. Here, you can share your comments on this or any subject related to the care of your child.
Phone (toll free): 1-888-875-3256
Email: pcqo@phsa.ca
PCQO Website: http://www.phsa.ca/about/accountability/patient-experience/compliments-complaints

Parent advocates. A group of parents are advocating and contacting the media and MLAs to share their stories and concerns. Contact Carmen Carrier at carmike28@hotmail.com and she will connect you to this group.

The Children’s Heart Network has full confidence in the team at the Heart Centre, and CHN is here to support you and your family through these challenging times. Please contact CHN at saitken@childrensheartnetwork.org or 604-961-0380 if you need support.