First public meetings held to hear people’s views on proposals for children’s acute services
Patients, health professionals and the general public are being invited to give their views on the future of services for acutely sick and injured children at the first wave of public meetings.
A series of public meetings are being held across South of Tyne and Wear and members of the public are encouraged to come along and give their views on the proposals.
The following public meetings have been arranged for people to give their views:
- 16 February from 6pm, Caedmon Room, Gateshead Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead, NE8 4LN
- 23 February from 6pm, Training & Education Centre, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Kayll Road, Sunderland, SR4 7TP
- 6 March from 6pm, Living Waters Church, St Judes Terrace, South Shields, South Tyneside, NE33 5PB
The consultation, held by NHS South of Tyne and Wear, working on behalf of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT), South Tyneside and Gateshead PCTs, is the result of three year’s work looking at how services can be improved. The changing pattern of childhood illness means that current provision no longer meets the needs of children or their families.
Children and young people suffer from more chronic and complex long-term illness now than in the past, for example, asthma and diabetes. This means they need more community-based treatment, closer to home and fewer hospital admissions and overnight stays.
The plan has been developed with input from healthcare specialists, the children and young people who use the services, and their parents.
According to the proposals, 24-hour assessment units would be established in local hospitals in Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside and the work of the children’s community nursing team will be extended to offer support to sick children in their own home.
Inpatient services, for those children who require a period in hospital, would be provided at centres in Sunderland Royal Hospital or the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI in Newcastle.
Dr Geoff Lawson, Consultant Paediatrician, Sunderland Royal NHS Foundation Trust, said; “I would encourage local people to take this opportunity to come along to the public meetings – the first taking place in Sunderland – to give their views around the proposals to improve services for acutely injured and sick children across Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead.”
Dr Gabriel Okugbeni, Consultant Paediatrician, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said: “We want to hear from local people so they can help shape the future of services for acutely injured and sick children. We believe these proposals will ensure the continued provision of safe, high-quality, local services for children and young people.”
Dr Rosemary Menzies, Consultant Paediatrician, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “I would urge local people to attend the meetings in their area to have their say on the modernisation of children’s services.”
Dr David Hambleton, Director of Commissioning Development for NHS South of Tyne and Wear said: “We are committed to improving local services for children and young people. We would like to hear local people’s views on our plan which will ensure that many children are able to receive expert paediatric care close to home.
“The relatively small number of children who need a hospital stay will be treated in a dedicated inpatient unit staffed by doctors and nurses who are used to managing a wide range of conditions.”
Last year there were more than 12,000 children’s emergency admissions to local hospitals. Many of them could have been managed in the community.
To have your say about these proposals come along to one of our local consultation events, full details are on our website at www.sotw.nhs.uk/yoursay/consultations/.The consultation period has been extended to 30 April 2012.Alternatively, complete the questionnaire which is also on the website or call 0191 529 7374 for a copy.
Issued by: Audrey Barton
For press enquiries on this release, please contact the Communications and PR Team on 0191 529 7339
NHS South of Tyne and Wear serving Gateshead Primary Care Trust, South Tyneside Primary Care Trust and Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust
Sunderland Enterprise Park
Acute refers to illness that is often sudden in onset and can be severe, but generally lasts only a short time before the patient recovers fully.
Why services need to change
Local services for sick and injured children and young people have served the community well for many years, but advances in medical treatment and prevention mean that they need to change.
- Children and young people suffer from more chronic illness now than in the past, for example, conditions like asthma and diabetes.
- Most common childhood illness can be managed safely and more appropriately in the child’s own home with support from healthcare staff.
- Last year there were more than 12,000 children’s emergency admissions to local hospitals. Many of them could have been managed in the community.
- Unnecessary admission to hospital can disrupt family life and have a negative impact on a child’s education.
- At times, fewer than half of the overnight beds for children across the South of Tyne and Wear area are occupied.
- For the few children and young people who need a stay in hospital, we can deliver a better service by concentrating expertise in a single hospital. This means that they will be seen by staff who regularly deal with the type of conditions that require inpatient care.
- Smaller hospital units are not able to employ the range of paediatric staff necessary to deal with a wide variety of conditions.
- Smaller hospital units can sometimes experience difficulty recruiting and retaining high quality staff.
What are we proposing?
- Children’s short stay and assessment units at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead and South Tyneside District Hospital, South Shields. These will provide a 24-hour service seven days a week for children and young people between the ages of 0 and 16 years. They will be consultant led and staffed by multidisciplinary teams including specialist children’s doctors and nurses. There will be consultant cover from early until late with on-call during the night for children’s emergencies. Each unit will have a number of observation beds.
- Inpatient care will be provided at Sunderland Royal Hospital. Parents will also have the choice to attend the Great North Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Children who require more complex procedures will be treated in Newcastle as they are now.
- The use of existing minor injury and illness units/walk-in centres to assess and if necessary treat children of all ages, without the need to visit a hospital.
- The children’s community nursing team is already providing support to children with long term conditions or complex needs in their own home. The team’s role will be expanded so that they can deal with acutely sick and injured children, 7 days a week, from early until late on weekdays and reduced hours at weekends.