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What Matters To You?

Di Smith Mc Cue
WCH News
Posted 11 Oct 2023

The four words that changed the health outcomes for my son - Di Smith-McCue

Although by day, I am the Director of Consumer and Community Engagement at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, by night I am the mum of two avid basketball players (Di pictured above with her two sons and husband).

A couple of years ago, my son did a spectacular basketball dunk that went terribly wrong and resulted in a trip to the emergency department.

Stepping off the plane, returning from work and seeing 32 missed calls I knew something had happened. Calling my husband and hearing my son's arm was broken, I knew there were going to be some ‘big feelings’. Entering the emergency area and seeing my son and husband, the devastation in their eyes was palpable.

We were greeted by the orthopaedic surgeon who informed us of the road ahead, and I could see my son’s face glazing over.

Interrupting the surgeon I asked my son "What matters to you?" His answer, “Am I ever going to play basketball again?”

The doctor responded immediately stating "Yes… but…"

My son was immediately connected to his care plan, engaging in the conversation as to what he needed to do to get back onto the court, even setting the timer on his phone to complete the exercises (if only he showed the same level of commitment to his schoolwork).

He had a full recovery, with better health outcomes because he felt listened to, he was shown respect, but most importantly he was part of the decision-making process regarding his journey. All of these are key principles in providing a Person and Family Centred Care (PFCC) approach.

Ask this question of yourself and others when accessing a health service…"What matters to you?"

Over the next three years the Women’s and Children’s Health Network are working towards being formally recognised with a Planetree certificate which is the international gold standard in Person and Family Centred Care.

What is Person and Family Centred Care?

Person and Family Centred Care is a systemised approach to delivering healthcare in a way that centres on the perspective of the whole patient and their loved ones, while promoting a healthy, encouraging environment for caregivers and addressing the health needs of the organisation’s surrounding community.

To find out more about how WCHN is fostering Person and Family Centred Care to deliver better health outcomes, visit: