Do you know how and when to call Ryan’s Rule?

Children’s Health Queensland & Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital have shared some important advice with parents on when and how to use Ryan’s Rule if they are concerned about the care of their child or a loved one.

Ryan’s Rule is a three-step process to help families or carers raise concerns if the feel their child’s health condition is getting worse, or not improving as well as expected while they are in hospital.

The steps to follow are:
1. Discuss your concerns with your child’s treating nurse or doctor.
2. If you are not satisfied with the response, then ask to speak to the nurse-in-charge of the shift.
3. If you are still concerned, call 13 Health (1343 2584) to call a Ryan’s Rule.

Patients of any age admitted to any Queensland Health public hospital and in some cases Hospital in the Home (HITH) services can call Ryan’s Rule by following these three steps. Always tell us if you think something is wrong with your child.

** When NOT to use Ryan’s Rule
Ryan’s Rule should only be used for concerns related to a patient’s health condition getting worse or not improving as expected while they are in hospital. Ryan’s Rule is not for general complaints.

If you have a complaint or other feedback about your child’s care, please talk to the nurse in charge in the first instance. You can also contact Patient Experience Team by calling 3068 1120 or emailing CHQ_PatientExperience@health.qld.gov.au

REACH is the NSW equivalent to Queensland’s Ryan’s Rule and has been implemented in roughly half of the state’s hospitals.

Other states across Australia have enforced similar rules. Check with your local health provider if you are seeking further information in your state. Or ask to speak to the patient liaison officer at your hospital.

You can find out more info on Ryan’s Rule and similar resources available in each state HERE.

Have you ever had to revoke Ryan’s Rule? 

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  • I have never heard of this before either. It’s good to know although sadly too late for an acquaintance’s son. Not sure if it would have helped but I’m sure the extra set of eyes would have been a comfort.


  • I have never heard of this before so mustn’t be in Victoria, however it sounds like a very good program


  • Guess because I don’t live in Queensland, I was unaware of this rule. Not sure if there is one similar in Victoria either. Thanks for sharing


  • I’ve never heard of this rule before.


  • No, I didn’t know but thank you for sharing. Good to have that information available and I can share it with others.


  • It is good to know what to do – sad that this has to be in place. I hope I never have to use it. This rule also applies in all Queensland health hospitals and not just for paediatrics


  • Hopefully i won’t ever need this but well worth the read


  • I’ve never even heard of this. Very good to know!


  • Gladly we never had to revoke Ryan’s Rule / REACH, but it’s good these rules are in place.


  • If it is After Hours you could be asked why you didn’t call a locum. ….if there is a Locum Service in your area. You would hope you would be seen sooner that if you have to wait 3 – 4 hours for a locum which can happen.


  • I’ve been so lucky with the hospitals with my baby but it is so comfy to know these rules are there if you need them.


  • The problem is how you’re made to feel if you show up to hospital and your child isn’t bleeding to death or not breathing. “Why didn’t you go to your GP?” Like you’re wasting their time. Parents know when their kids are sick and need to see a doctor. If we’re at emergency its because we’re genuinely scared. We don’t want to be there. Its not fun for us. And we often get sent home still worried and feeling like we wasted everyone’s time. Having procedures like these are fantastic!


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