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Ryan's rule

Ryan’s Rule assists you to get help when you are concerned about a patient in hospital who is getting worse or not improving. All Metro South Health hospitals and services fully support this initiative.


Ryan Saunders was nearly three years old when he tragically died in hospital. His death was found to be in all likelihood preventable. Staff did not know Ryan as well as his mum and dad knew him. When Ryan’s parents were worried he was getting worse they didn’t feel their concerns were acted on in time. Ryan’s Rule has been developed to provide patients of any age, families and carers with another way to get help.

If you are concerned

If you have any concerns you wish to raise simply follow these steps:

Step 1

Talk to a nurse or doctor about your concerns.

If you are not satisfied with the response:

Step 2

Talk to the nurse in charge of the shift.

If you are not satisfied with the response:

Step 3

Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or ask a nurse and they will call on your behalf. Request a Ryan's Rule Clinical Review and provide the following information:

  • hospital name
  • patient's name
  • ward, bed number (if known)
  • contact phone number.

A Ryan's Rule nurse or doctor will review the patient and assist.

Last updated 7 September 2022
Last reviewed 25 November 2021