New unit aims to make kids’ hospital stays less daunting
A NEW unit at Craigavon Hospital is aiming to take some of the stress out of overnight stays for children.
The unit, which is located within the Children’s Ward, is also planning to increase the range of conditions for which it is able to offer treatment.
Staffed by two Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners, supported by the Medical Team, the unit will take referrals from the Emergency Department and GPs to treat children for a wide range of conditions including dehydration, respiratory conditions, vomiting, diarrhoea 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.
Paul Morgan, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust, says: “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.
“We hope that our new unit will avoid these issues for many families by reducing length of stay and preventing overnight admissions for suitable patients. We are now also able to treat children for a wider range of conditions and prepare them for procedures in a more child friendly environment.”
The Ambulatory Unit is open from 9am to 10pm Monday to Friday.
It is supported by the Community Children’s Nursing Team which has extended hours to provide follow up care (for example changing dressings or administering IV antibiotics) for the growing number of children who will be treated in their own homes.
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