The South Thames Paediatric Network includes the Paediatric Critical Care ODN, Surgery in Children ODN and the Gastroenterology ODN. As well as managing ODNs, we also have responsibility for the strategic development of specialist paediatric services in the South Thames region.
Clinical networks are an NHS success story and have been responsible for some significant and sustained improvements in the quality of patient care and the outcomes of their treatment. Combining the experience of clinicians, the input of patients and the organisational vision of NHS staff they have supported and improved the way we deliver care to patients in distinct areas, delivering true integration across primary, secondary and tertiary care.
Paediatric services often work within networks, with multiple professionals across numerous organisations involved in meeting the needs of children. Establishing networks for children in our region was therefore a natural step – and so the South Thames Paediatric Network was founded in Autumn 2018. Following the NHS England review of Paediatric Critical Care and Surgery in Children, which recommended the establishment of Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) for Paediatric Critical Care and Surgery in Children, our network was funded by NHS England London Specialised Commissioning, and we began developing its work programme.
Recognising the need to address other areas of paediatric care, as well as taking an overarching view of the development of paediatric services in the region, the network team has taken on a broad remit to include additional clinical networks and work programmes.
As part of our 5 year plan, we want to ensure that:
Children in the network have access to high-quality specialist paediatric care in the place most suitable to their needs, at the appropriate time.
Care will be standardised across the network, governed by quality standards and agreed pathways.
Network partners share learning on valuable aspects of service delivery and development, clinical best practice, service transformation, new models of care and workforce solutions.
Economic benefits for both providers and commissioners are achieved through improved efficiency of services.