New Paediatric Assessment Unit launched at Queen's Hospital

New Paediatric Assessment Unit launched at Queen's Hospital
14 August 2017

CHILDREN in Burton and the surrounding areas who require urgent medical care are benefiting from a new assessment unit, which has been launched today (Monday 14 August 2017). The Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) was piloted in December 2016 as a rapid access unit for children to assess and monitor youngsters who require medical treatment.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the unit allows children to be seen by specialist clinical staff sooner so that they can either return home or admitted to a hospital bed. After the successful pilot, the unit has now been launched on a full time basis.

Dr Mansoor Ahmed, Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical Lead for Paediatrics at Burton Hospitals, said: “The PAU allows children to be assessed quickly to ensure that they receive the most appropriate treatment, whether that is in a hospital setting or elsewhere.

“Previously, a child would probably have had an overnight stay on a children’s ward so that they could be assessed. Now, we have found that the majority of children don’t need to be kept in hospital and can be discharged home with a couple of hours. This is a much better experience for children and their families.”

Children and young people are referred to PAU from a variety of sources including the Emergency Department, GP surgeries, midwives and community children’s nurses. The unit provides a child-friendly environment with experienced paediatric nurses and doctors, enhanced patient flow to avoid potentially lengthy waiting times and a period of observation (up to 6 hours) which avoids the need to be admitted.

Around 70 per cent of the children who have been assessed on the unit so far have been discharged straight home, rather than be admitted to a hospital bed.

Vicki Baldwin, Matron for Children’s Services, added: “Parents want to know that their child is having the best, most appropriate, care and treatment for their children and the PAU allows us to ensure they get that. It ensures that children receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place. The feedback we have had so far has been fantastic.”

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