New service to treat children at home

A new service aimed at treating children with minor illnesses at home is being piloted in Grimsby.

Hospital at Home (H@H) will launch on Monday (22 November) and will run until the end of March. The nurse-led service will take referrals from Emergency Department, the Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) and Rainforest Ward at Grimsby hospital. If a child meets the criteria, they will be discharged from hospital and the team will make contact within two hours by telephone, before a visit is arranged.

A man and three women stood in front a wall

The Hospital at Home team.

When the H@H nurse visits the child at home, they will carry out a nursing assessment, which includes recording a pulse rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation level, temperature and blood pressure. As well as assisting the family to care for their child, the team will help educate parents on managing future illness and how to access the appropriate health care.

If this pilot phase is a success, the service is expected to go on to receive referrals from primary care.

The service will take referrals for the following minor illnesses:

  • Bronchiolitis
  • Viral induced wheeze/asthma
  • Gastroenteritis/diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Fever of known origin
  • Croup.

Julie Hamill, advanced paediatric nurse practitioner, said: “One of the reasons for setting up this service is in response to the current respiratory surge we are experiencing. We are seeing lots of referrals so the aim of the pilot is to provide a service that can assess and monitor a child during an acute phase of illness in their own home, while providing support and education to the family.

“This is the first time we have done something like this in the Trust. It takes the stress off the child and also helps educate the parents about managing their child’s illness now and in the future. It is hoped it will also reduce our inpatient admission rate. If it’s successful, it will be rolled out in other areas too.”

Children make up more than a quarter of Emergency Department attendance across the UK. The majority of children’s illnesses are minor, requiring little or no medical intervention and it is well documented children cared for in their home are more likely to make a swifter recovery.

Children must meet certain criteria in order to be referred into the service. It will be available from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays (excluding Christmas and New Year’s Day during this pilot phase).

For more information about the service, please email nlg-tr.hospitalathome@nhs.net.

If you are a journalist and require further information contact the communications and marketing team via nlg-tr.comms@nhs.net