Promoting brilliant healthcare for children with complex feeding difficulties

$72,125 Western Sydney University School of Business Priority Research Initiative 2019-2021

Collaboration between WSU School of Business, UTS, St George Hospital, and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.

The aim is to promote brilliant health for families whose children have complex feeding difficulties. This will be achieved by addressing the following objectives:

1. Map the pathways through which patients with complex conditions for which there
is limited support – namely, complex feeding difficulties among children – access feeding care across the three-tiered Australian health system
2. Gauge organisational capacity among select health services to address complex
feeding difficulties by isolating bottlenecks and inefficiencies
3. Determine the conditions that contribute to brilliant feeding care, as defined by
clinicians and the families they support
4. Identify opportunities to address bottlenecks and inefficiencies to optimise brilliant
feeding care
5. In collaboration with external stakeholders, co-design, co-develop, implement, and
evaluate a resource (that is, an intervention, broadly defined) to optimise brilliant
feeding care
6. Facilitate a roundtable discussion with health service managers, clinicians, and the
families of children with complex feeding difficulties, to pursue practicable strategies to promote brilliant feeding care, beyond this project.

This project is significant because feeding difficulties among children are prevalent, chronic, and complex – as such, they represent an appropriate microcosm from which lessons can be garnered to inform the management of the myriad health services that address prevalent chronic and complex health issues in Australia, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, diabetes, and dementia1. This claim follows four reasons – specifically, feeding difficulties among children:

1. Are common, even among ‘normally developing children’.

2. Can have personal, social, and economic implications


3. Strain Australian hospitals

4. Can be difficult for families to manage. This might partly explain why many

are admitted to hospital for acute care.


Given the prevalence, chronicity, and complexity of feeding difficulties among children, this project is expected to culminate with several outcomes with considerable impact.