Improved access to Paediatric Services at Daisy Hill Hospital

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Extended opening hours at Daisy Hill Hospital’s Paediatric Ambulatory Ward is making life easier for families.

Lisa McAleavey and her 23 month old son Jack who use the Paediatric Ambulatory Care ward at Daisy Hill Hospital with Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner Patricia McGuinness, Lead Nurse for Paediatric Ambulatory Services, Barbara McAdam and Dr Ahmed Khan, Associate Medical Director for Children and Young People’s Services

Previously open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Fridays, the service is now available up to 9pm on week nights, causing less disruption for families and meaning that staff can treat more children in the ambulatory setting preventing unnecessary inpatient admissions. The Paediatric Ambulatory Ward (PAW) caters for a variety of patients including those who need a short period of observation or treatment which does not require an overnight stay. Based on the fourth floor of the hospital beside Children’s Ward, PAW is staffed by Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners who are supported by the Medical Team. The Ward takes referrals from Children’s Community Nursing, Community Midwifery, Health Visiting, GPs or the Emergency Department and treats children with a wide range of conditions including dehydration, respiratory issues, vomiting and fever. The team also offers health promotion support and advice to parents and uses their treatment room to prepare children for planned investigations. This new development is part of the Trust’s Changing for Children strategy for acute paediatric care and is also in line with Transforming Your Care – the regional review of Health and Social Care which recommends that length of hospital stay is reduced and admissions are avoided for suitable patients where possible. Associate Medical Director for Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust Dr Ahmed Khan explains, “Coming to hospital can be a stressful experience for children and quite disruptive for families as parents normally want to stay overnight with their child. “PAW is designed to avoid these issues for many families by reducing length of stay and preventing overnight admissions for suitable patients. We are now able to treat children for a wider range of conditions in the Ward and prepare them for procedures in a more child friendly environment. “We also hope that by extending the hours and being more accessible we will be able to treat many more children and give families the added benefit of arranging their child’s hospital care around their normal lifestyle.” Children with complex needs and those with open access to children’s ward may be treated in PAW depending on their condition. All children seen in PAW can have access to the Community Children’s Nursing Team if needed to provide follow up care when they go home – for example changing dressings or administering IV antibiotics.
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