The children’s hospital report by the CQC shines a spotlight on the care experienced by children and young people in hospital. Encouragingly the majority of children and their families have good experiences of the care they received; they feel safe, are listened to and are spoken to in a way that they can understand.
What is concerning is that 41% of parents and carers felt staff were not always aware of their child’s medical history; this extended to 51% of those with mental health issues or learning disabilities and 55% when a child had a physical disability.
The importance of clinicians, patients and their families communicating effectively with each other cannot be underestimated, particularly when a child has a number of complex needs.
This must start with taking a detailed history and ensuring every health professional involved in the child’s care is familiar with this.
It also means nurses, doctors and parents being present on ward rounds together and providing frequent opportunity for patients and their parents to discuss plans and progress with medical staff.
Now we have this report, it is vital that we share its findings so we can target action to improve the care delivered to our patients, their experiences in hospital, and their health outcomes.