Kit to help children’s hospital

2017-04-18 06:00

The health care system for younger children in the province is expected to improve as a new diagnostic practice has been ­established.

The Children’s Hospital Trust has – through its partnership with UCT’s Lung Institute knowledge translation unit – introduced a kit to give guidelines for a practical approach to care for children.

The kit is expected to bridge the gap between clinical skills and patient care, empowering the nurses and doctors on the front line of health care with accurate and fast diagnostic results.

Working with the provincial health department, the knowledge translation unit is reportedly preparing to pilot the kit in selected clinics, after which it will be refined for provincial and national rollout.

For about 23 years the trust has worked closely with the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to improve the quality of health services received by children with critical conditions by raising funds and supporting priority building projects at the hospital as well as training, therapy programmes, rehabilitation and other crucial health care services.

This kit on a practical approach to care, together with other programmes, ran by the trust are also expected to alleviate the burden of care on the hospital by ensuring that only the most serious and necessary patients come to the hospital for specialised care and treatment.

A member of the knowledge translation unit’s leadership team, retired Professor Eric Bateman explains that the kit is a comprehensive guide for diagnosing, managing and referring children in primary care and follows the success of the similar kit for adults.

“Nurses and healthcare workers are often operating in an environment where there is limited time and a huge demand. They have to make life-saving decisions about diagnosing, referring and managing cases as quickly as possible. The kit gives them a protocol in one, simple guide, easing the decision-making burden,” says Bateman.

“Child health care, especially in South Africa, is a much larger issue than the sick and injured children we see at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. We need to invest in systems that ensure children are diagnosed accurately and treated appropriately right from the first point of care. This frees up the burden on tertiary institutions like the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, allowing them to focus on the most critical cases. It also alleviates the pressure on supporting staff, which carry the load of budget cuts.”

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