Imperial College Healthcare Trust – Connecting Care for Children
When staff at Imperial College Healthcare Trust invited feedback on services for children, they were given a valuable summary of the issues from the patient and carer perspective. “My health visitor told me to do one thing and the hospital told me something else. It’s confusing,” reported one respondent. Said another: “I only found out how to use my son’s inhaler properly when he had an asthma attack and was on the children’s ward.” And one of those responding to the survey revealed a preference for seeing a GP, because “I know him and he’s looked after all my family for years”.
The Connecting Care for Children (CC4C) care model, co-produced with patients and carers, constituted a very deliberate effort to address some of these challenges. It also aimed to address the disproportionately high rates of paediatric accident and emergency and paediatric outpatient attendance across the region.
CC4C centres on Child Health GP Hubs, with hospital paediatric clinics now taking place in the GP practice. This approach is further bolstered by multidisciplinary team meetings which bring together secondary care clinicians with the primary care team.
In the first year of operation at the most mature hub, there were 81 per cent fewer outpatient appointments and 22 per cent fewer A&E attenders. Ward admissions, meanwhile, fell by 17 per cent. If implemented across the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, it is anticipated the savings would be over £11m.
The model has now been adapted for use by adults in the region who have a long term condition.
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