Mr John Hill, Minister for Health, South Australian Government

The Children, Youth and Women's Health Services (CYWHS) Parent Helpline provides telephone information and support at any time 7 days a week.

Previously the service was run 24 hours/7 days week , however since the beginning of May the hours of service were cut back significantly. Calls received between 9.15pm and 7.15am are automatically redirected to the Health Direct call centre, a national telephone advice hotline setup by the Federal government to treat enquiries of a 'medical' nature.

Some examples of the information available from the CYH Parent Helpline include:

HEALTH: Teething, bedwetting, gastro and fevers.
BEHAVIOUR: Unsettled babies, sleep, problem solving, toilet training.
NUTRITION: Feeding babies, fussy eaters, general nutrition information.
PARENTING: Grief and separation, resources for counselling, stepfamilies, child protection issues.
PARENTS: Postnatal depression, pregnancy, mastitis, coping with parenting, support.

A significant proportion of calls, especially throughout the overnight shift, are from parents who are not always seeking medical advice, rather seeking 'general' parenting advice on settling, breastfeeding, behavioural and other 'non-medical parenting issues'. The support to these parents at these times is critical and many parents hang up from the Health Direct hotline frustrated that the staff were not able to deal with their issues.

Given the service has been cut back overnight, when callers are generally not able to seek access to family/friends, visit their doctor for advice or seek out alternative avenues, parents are left in a difficult and somewhat dangerous predicament should their query not be of a medical nature and Health Direct are not able to attend and resolve their issue.

The CYH Parents Helpline received over 95,000 calls last year, with many first time parents finding the support offered by their trained staff CRITICAL to the wellbeing of both parents and their children. Health Direct staff, whilst medically qualified, cannot confidently answer the typical questions the Parent's Helpline receives and callers are often referred to their GP the following day, leaving parents no better off for their efforts or without any way forward for resolving their current dilemma.

By signing this petition, you support our call to Minister John Hill and the South Australian Government to reinstate the overnight CYH Parent Helpline so that this essential service is available to South Australian parents and they receive the essential support that they're entitled to.

GoPetition respects your privacy.

The Reinstate the CYH Parent Helpline's Overnight Service petition to Mr John Hill, Minister for Health, South Australian Government was written by Belinda Jennings, Adelaide Baby Bargains and is in the category Health at GoPetition.