REACH partner Naomi Day awarded for her commitment to improving healthcare

28 March 2018

We have a proud history of working in partnership with Grant and Naomi Day who have become powerful patient safety advocates and determined supporters of our REACH program, since the tragic death of their young son Kyran in 2013.

In March 2018, Naomi's endless spirit of co-operation and commitment to making healthcare better was recognised with her winning the Heart of Women award in her local community on the NSW North Coast.

REACH stands for Recognise Engage Act Call Help is on its Way. REACH is a rapid response program that encourages patients and families to phone for urgent medical review if they feel a patient's condition is deteriorating and clinical staff are not responding. The program was developed by the Clinical Excellence Commission in 2013 and extended into more rural hospitals, adult patient, mental health and paediatric units in 2017.

Naomi and Grant were crucial to the extension of the program which saw two new REACH posters and other resources, including a paediatric poster featuring Kyran's image and story, launched.

Clinical Excellence Commission Chief Executive, Ms Carrie Marr, said Naomi had worked tirelessly to bring humanity and compassion to healthcare through the REACH program.

"REACH is about listening to families and empowering them to speak up when they bring their loved ones into our hospitals. REACH was born out of the concern that patients and families were not empowered to raise concerns when they felt worried about patients in our care," Ms Marr said.

"We all want to be constantly improving the care we can offer patients and Naomi has dedicated herself to becoming a voice for patients and families, to helping us understand how to better help people navigate the health system and co-operatively developing resources to support families navigating care in our public hospitals."

Naomi has recounted that after losing Kyran, who was misdiagnosed in hospital, she often wondered what would come next.

"By the time we were at the inquest, I just sat back and thought there must be something we can do, not only to protect kids and babies in hospitals, but also to share Kyran's legacy," Naomi said.

"Being involved in the extension of REACH and sharing Kyran's story was very powerful and I think the program really reminds us that babies and children do not have a voice and it's important for health staff to listen closely to parents as they know their children best."

Naomi said she was shocked when the awards were announced as there had been many wonderful nominees vying for the heart award but now that the recognition had sunk in she was very proud of the work she has been able to do promoting REACH and honouring Kyran's life.

So far, 169 of the state's hospitals have implemented the REACH program. This includes all 13 of the state's major principal referral hospitals. The CEC will continue to support the extension of REACH across NSW.

Today, Naomi is working with universities training nursing and medical students using Kyran's story and highlighting the importance of working with patients and families to future health staff.

Part of this work includes promoting our video that tracks Kyran's story, with these future health workers.