Category Archives: Blacktown

Westpoint Blacktown (Level 4) – 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Has loads of potential but has been well let down.  Nappy change, feed, rest, play

Good Points: Easy to find. Auto slide push-button door. Separate nappy change bench and food prep bench. Disposable change mat liners. Separate sinks for nappy change bench and food prep bench. Nappy bins underneath change bench.  Microwave and bottle warmer. Soap at sinks. Feeding corner with armchair, side table, Play Panel and bench. Adult and child toilets.

Bad Points: No paper towel for drying hands. No curtains or door to feeding/rest area. Toilet paper is too high for little kids. Play Panel is missing a few pieces. Grubby, marked furniture. Chipped and dirty bench in feeding corner. No soap at nappy change bench

This was the first Parent Room we visited on our trip to Westpoint Blacktown. The centre has had alot of work done in recent years, and the Parent Rooms have definitely been improved. Sadly they’re still not exceptional. The website for Westpoint says its Parent Rooms are ‘five star’. They might look like it from the outside, but once inside where you can take a closer look……..they’re more average than anything else. I’d probably be nicer about this review if the centre hadn’t tried to make the rooms sound a whole lot better than they really are. But the hype just doesn’t match up with the real thing.

The best part of this Parent Room is it’s so easy to find. From the moment you arrive on Level 4, you just look for the signs and follow the arrows. Head down the hall between Max Brenner and Mad Mex, and on the left is the auto slide push-button door to the Parent Room. This is probably the most ‘five star’ the room gets. Inside the door the room looks promising, but within a couple of minutes the flaws just leap out!! Either that or I am just getting really really pedantic having seen so many bad rooms and not enough great ones.

This room has loads of potential and was probably great when first refurbed, but it’s just been neglected and treated badly. There’s a nappy change bench, with 2 change bays, bins under the bench, a sink in the  middle, and disposable change mat liners. This is good, but there isn’t any soap here or paper towel to dry your hands.

Opposite the change bench is the food prep area. This is pretty good, with a microwave and bottle warmer. It’s quite rare for a room to have both appliances. The sink is quite big, and there’s soap here plus a hand dryer.  The bench is marked and stained, and the hand dryer has had some lovely homemade etchings done to it.

The feeding corner is pretty crappy. There’s no curtain or door. Just a dirty filthy carpet with an old armchair, broken Play Panel and chipped furniture. It’s not a nice place to take time out with your little ones, and not even having a basic curtain just makes it a really uncomfortable place to be.

The toilets are alright. Don’t know how you’d go getting a double pram in here (thanks Ali :)). There’s a loo for kids and another for adults, with separate toilet paper rolls. The roll for the little loo is a bit out of reach, so kids may need some help. The sink is a little high for kids too, but at least the soap is at a decent kid-friendly height. Hate the hand dryer though. It’s just the right height for kids to stand under without realising it, and getting the life scared out of them when it starts up. Just save some power, Westpoint, and whack in some paper towels instead.

Westpoint Blacktown (Level 2) – 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Overrated. Westpoint Blacktown website promotes its Parent Rooms as being ‘five star’, but it just a veneer and it’d be more accurate to say they are 2 – 3 star. Nappy change, feed, rest, play.


Good Points: Auto-slide push button frosted glass door. Spacious main room. Separate food prep bench with sink, soap, microwave, bottle warmer, and hand dryer. Wide change bench with two change bays, sink and soap dispenser in the middle. Disposable change mat liners. Nappy bins underneath the change bench. Two private feeding cubicles with Play Panels, curtains and armchairs. Adult and child size toilets, with locking door.


Bad Points: Dirty areas everywhere. Corners in entry way are very difficult for larger prams. Grubby main room. No paper towel for drying hands. Toilets used by people who aren’t with little children. Doors to nappy bins are unlocked. Play Panels are missing a few parts. Dirty armchairs and carpet. Curtains instead of doors to feeding cubicles. No side tables in feeding cubicles. Soiled toilet paper on floor in the toilets, no paper towel, and marked/stained fittings. Empty, broken and dangerous toilet paper unit for child toilet (exposed sharp metal teeth). Sink in toilet is too high for little children to reach.


I am getting a little wary with the statements businesses make on their websites about the quality of their Parent Rooms. It’s more than annoying when facilities are well below promoted expectations. And this is what I found during my recent trip to Westpoint Blacktown. 

What a huge let down!!! Westpoint Blacktown says on its website the Parent Rooms are ‘five star’. Well this accolade could only be for overrated, dirty, broken, basic facilities and nothing more. Westpoint needs to get a big fat reality check on what five star Parent Rooms are really like.

The Level 2 Parent Room is just down the corridor next to Big W. There are signs showing you where it is (one good thing). And the hallway leading to the room is wide enough for prams. The door is an auto-slide push-button frosted glass door, which seemed so promising! These doors make getting in and out of the room such a breeze. Inside the doorway, however, the room just goes downhill.

Immediately faced with a wall and a corner to walk around to get to the main area, I was very happy to be pram-free on this particular trip. I watched another mum leave the room later with a pram, and it took some shifting and shoving to get it around the corner and finally out the door again. Not fun!

The main room is pretty spacious and has undergone a makeover since my last visit about 12mth earlier. But it’s basically just a cover over the same crap that’s always been there. The nappy change bench is on the left side of the room. It’s wide, with two change bays, sink and soap dispenser in the middle. At either end of the bench mounted on the walls are rolls of paper to be used for lining the change bays, in case anyone has forgotten to bring change mats with them. Underneath the bench are nappy bins, but the doors to the bins are unlocked. This is not good enough, especially with curious little people about who like to open doors and see what’s inside them. Incredibly unsafe and unhygienic!!

I was happy to see a separate area for food prep. It has a sink, soap dispenser and hand dryer (but no paper towel!) plus microwave and bottle warmer. Now this is probably the only five star feature of the room. Having all these things in a parent room is, sadly, quite rare. But it’s not enough to make me want to spend any more time in here than is absolutely necessary. The rest of the room just doesn’t cut it.

On the right side of the room are two private feeding cubicles. Since my last visit, these have had a coat of paint…….and that’s about it. The carpets are still badly stained. The Play Panels are missing pieces. The armchairs are grubby. And the curtains……well little children still like to whip open curtains to see who is hiding behind it. Not a great experience if you’re a mum trying to feed a baby in private.

And then there’s the toilets. Just like my last visit, these ones are also visited by people who don’t have young children with them. If you don’t have little children with you, why come and use the toilet in the Parents Room? There were a few of us mums waiting with our children, desperately needing the toilet, while it was occupied with adults. This is just rude and not at all appropriate. How about these people help clean up the messes little ones end up making because they can’t get to the toilet in time? That might make them use the regular male/female toilets in future.

Looking at the pictures, I don’t think anyone who works for the centre cares at all about the state or use of the toilets. It’s just disgusting. Even early in the morning, there was soiled toilet paper on the floor. The fittings were marked and broken, and apart from the child size toilet, the rest of the room was not at all suited to small children. The sanitary bin was beginning to overflow. The toilet paper dispenser next to the child toilet was empty, broken and had exposed sharp metal teeth. Extremely dangerous!!
The sink is too high for little ones, and there’s no paper towel (again!!!). There is a hand dryer, but it’s at just the right height to scare the life out of little ones who happen to stand underneath it. Just don’t have one in the toilets! It’s not hygienic, so just get rid of it!

Phew, this one was actually a bit exhausting. I think tomorrow I need to write about a nice lovely parent room. The only challenge with that is finding one. 


 

Blacktown Hospital (Level 3 & 4) – Blacktown Rd, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Extremely poor. Nappy change, rest, feed (no microwave).


Good Points: Additional powerpoints in the Level 4 room. Bench. Sink, soap and paper towel. Rubbish bin. Loads of space. Armchairs.


Bad Points: Inadequate signs and fitout. Terrible hygiene regarding nappy disposal. No nappy mats or proper change space in the bench. No proper nappy disposal bin. Pressure swing doors. No toilets in the rooms. No food prep facilities. Cold.













I thought this was going to be a much better trip than it turned out to be. We were at Blacktown Hospital with the rest of the extended family to visit a very dear and much loved member of the family. While we took turns visiting, I decided to have a look at the Parent Rooms in the hospital. Now being in a hospital,  I thought at least the hygiene standards would have been over and above expectations. Blacktown Hospital is a public hospital so isn’t exactly overrun with surplus funds (to say the least), but the hygiene standards of these Parent Rooms is just pitiful. It makes me wonder a little about the hygiene standards throughout the rest of the hospital.

First up, I’ll tell you about the Parent Room on Level 3 (ground level). It’s not overly well sign posted, which is never a good indication of things to come. During a lull in conversation and needing to stretch my legs, I decided to go for a wander and see what I could find. Just past the waiting room type area of the ground level, along the back wall, is a Westpac ATM with a Directory sign next to it.
At the bottom of the sign I found the arrow pointing to the toilets and another one pointing to the Parent Room. Now normally toilets and Parent Rooms are in the same direction, so I was initially a little puzzled about the arrow pointing downwards  for the Parent Room. Hmmmmm……where were the stairs to take me down to the next floor? I couldn’t see any. Was I meant to crack a hole in the floor and burrow my way down to the Parent Room? Probably not. So I thought I’d head off to the left, in the direction of the toilets, and see what I could find. Do you know what I found?! A Parent Room!!! (lousy sign)

Quick note before I go on, the Parent Room actually has ‘Change Rooms’ written on the door (yep, a handwritten sign). I know, it’s not terribly clear but this is where you are meant to feed and change your bub. ‘Change Room’ huh……I was expecting it to be a staff locker room.

Anyway, the Parent Room is basically just a spare room that has had a bench, sink and couple of chairs thrown in it. There’s not even a proper hygienic nappy disposal bin, like you see pretty much everywhere else you go. And this is a hospital!! The last place you’d expect to see an open top waste paper bin to be used for nappy disposal. 

The chairs are wipe-clean armchairs. Comfortable enough for sitting down while you feed. There’s a few of them in here too, so some one’s missing out up on the wards. The door is the usual non-user-friendly pressure swing door which can’t be locked for privacy. It’s not wide enough to cater for a double side-by-side pram and it’d be tough going with a regular chunky style pram too. 

The bench is a disaster. It’s just a regular old bench, with a sink stuck in it. It’s so narrow that only a short baby would be comfortable changed on here. There’s not a single change mat to be seen anywhere. No paper towel to put on the narrow bench either. Nothing! Personally, I’d be changing my little one on the floor instead. At least I know they’ll be safer there. 

There’s just nothing that great to say about the Level 3 Parent Room. When I made it to Level 4, there was a proper Parent Room sign on the door. This gave me a bit more hope. Sadly it ended up being a fat load of nothing. Just the same as the room on Level 3. No lock on the door, no proper nappy disposal bin, no paper towel, no microwave, no proper change mat or change groove in the bench. Lousy lousy lousy.
By the end of my investigative walk, I was not feeling too happy and reported back to the family my findings. No-one was impressed at all, especially on the part of not having proper nappy disposal bins. It’s a hospital!!! Of all places, surely a hospital would have the best hygiene systems. But it’s just not the case.
There’s a few babies due in the next few months, so when I go to visit the new arrivals at the different hospitals……..watch out because I’ll be checking out the Parent Rooms too. And they’d better be in a whole lot better shape than Blacktown Hospital!