An innovative new way of helping ensure poorly children and young people are treated more efficiently and discharged home sooner has earned dedicated colleagues at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) national recognition.
The Trust’s Children and Young People’s Health Services has been shortlisted for the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Award for Acute Service Redesign for reconfiguring our Children’s Assessment Unit and Children’s Ward to deliver a service that meets the needs of our children.
In 2015, colleagues identified creative ways of improving care for the Trust’s youngest patients and their families. As a result, the Children’s Assessment Unit’s opened its doors seven days a week and employed more nurses. The Trust also appointed Children’s Lead Nurse, Tracey Armstrong, and a Mental Health Liaison Nurse, Katey Bickerstaffe, in 2016.
Colleagues now hold regular team meetings, or ‘SAFE huddles,’ to discuss on-going patient care using the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health SAFE initiative (which stands for Situational Awareness For Everyone).
This new way of working has also resulted in
- All children and young people were seen by a nurse within 15 minutes and by a doctor within 60 minutes of their arrival. The majority of the children were discharged home on the same day and on average are allowed home within five hours
- A reduction in the readmission rate from 17 per cent to 7.6 per cent
- Better communication and a safer handover of all children through the ‘SAFE huddles'
- The support from the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is also stronger with more support for children in the community once they are discharged. This has been achieved by appointing a new Mental Health Liaison Nurse. This was highlighted as good practice by the Care Quality Commission in their recent report
- The response from parents and children has been excellent, with many compliments received through the Friends and Family Test.
Ward Manger Jane Lawrence said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted in the HSJ Value Awards because we really have worked incredibly hard as a team over the past 18 months to make innovative and positive changes. Everyone has really risen to the challenge.
“We’ve always provided compassionate care for our young patients but now we have reconfigured how the Children’s Assessment Unit and Children’s Ward work, patients are reviewed in a more timely manner, they have a shorter length of stay and many don’t need to be admitted onto the Children’s Ward from the Assessment Unit.
“Our regular team ‘huddles’ mean we are able to keep track of our patient’s conditions even better, we can identify any safeguarding issues promptly and ensure they are discharged to the Community Children’s Nursing Team easily with all the medication they need. It also means we can monitor staffing levels better and support our colleagues.
“It’s really rewarding to see the results of all our hard work, for patients as well as our colleagues, and the HSJ Value Award is the icing on the cake. We’re really looking forward to showcasing what we have achieved at the awards ceremony.”
This new way of working has also provided other opportunities to develop patient care, particularly in the community where TRFT is taking part in a pilot scheme with the Dinnington Group Practice. The pilot aims to reduce the amount of children and young people being admitted to hospital and involves specialist paediatric colleagues working with GPs in the community to help diagnose conditions sooner.
The winners of the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards will be announced at a prestigious ceremony on 24 May 2017 at Grosvenor House, London.
For more information about the work of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, please visit: http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/ You can also join the 3,900+ followers we have on Twitter @RotherhamNHS_FT or ‘like us’ on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheRotherhamNHSFoundationTrust.