A team of nurses treating children who would normally be in hospital in their own homes is up for a top accolade.
The Hospital at Home team at Grimsby hospital has been selected from more than 900 entries as finalists in the Community and General Practice Nursing category of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Nursing Awards.
It takes referrals from Emergency Department, the Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) and Rainforest Ward. 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 within four hours. The service also now takes referrals from GPs too, so the child doesn’t need to even attend hospital.
When the nurse visits the child at home, they will carry out an 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.
The service started as a pilot in 2021 but has recently become permanent.
It takes referrals for the following minor illnesses:
- Viral induced wheeze/asthma
- Gastroenteritis/diarrhoea and vomiting
- Fever of known origin
Faye Stringer, Paediatric Staff Nurse, said: “Our team is extremely honoured to be shortlisted for an RCN Nursing Award. Our community deserves high-quality, accessible treatment for their children, and it’s been so rewarding providing care at home, making an essential and positive impact.
“The service is greatly appreciated by service users. Patients with complex backgrounds can be cared for within their homes and it provides a huge reduction in anxiety for deteriorating patients.”
The team help children get discharged more promptly from hospital and reduce the number of admissions. Not only has the scheme eased pressures on hospital services, but it has helped address health inequalities in a deprived area.
Since November 2021, the service has cared for more than 1,000 children, with around 89% of those able to remain at home with their families. Families overwhelmingly rate the service as excellent, while healthcare professionals say it has boosted their confidence in being able to discharge children to go home.
Hayley Smith, Paediatric Staff Nurse, said: “Working with the team has been such a privilege. It’s been extremely rewarding to be part of this innovative team, where we are all so passionate and keen to help in the recovery of our patients and families.”
Caroline Wilder, Children’s Community Nurse, said: “There is a massive drive from the NHS to move care into the community. It helps the patient and their family as it means they can be cared for in the comfort of their own home. We were so pleased to be nominated and we’d obviously love to win on the night.”
Danielle Fenty-Wales, Children’s Community Nurse, said: The team has worked hard from turning a valuable service from a pilot scheme into a permanent service. The need and demand for Hospital at Home is recognised through exceptional feedback from service users. It is a huge honour for our team to be nominated for the RCN awards and it would mean a great deal if we could win the award, not only for the Hospital at Home team but to the patients and families who value the service.”
The awards ceremony will take place in Liverpool on 10 November.