As Clinical lead for Level 1 and Level 2 Critical Care delivery in DGHs, I am constantly amazed by the high quality of care already being delivered within the network. Though there is still is scope to reduce variation and inefficiency whilst building on individual good practice through data sharing, education etc.
This is achievable, as amply demonstrated by the enthusiastic collaboration amongst network members whilst developing guidelines, their enthusiasm in submitting data and in responding to audits! The ODN has also shown that sharing of education and skills can be bi-directional. The ODN is breaking new ground in bringing together a patient experience group for Level 1 and Level 2 Critical care.
We aim to maintain this enthusiasm and momentum in preparation for the next stage in the evolution of our network – integrating with central educational bodies and other similar-minded ODNs.
We strive for all infants, children and young people to have access to excellent Critical Care when and where they need it, that it is never compromised by a lack of education, training, staffing, equipment and clinical guidance.
At the moment, the ability of paediatric ward areas and EDs within network centres to provide consistently high quality Level 1 care, stabilisation and, where appropriate, Level 2 care is inconsistent. It depends on fluctuating variables such as competence, training, confidence, equipment and capacity. Sustained, collaborative attention to these elements will enhance the consistency of delivery leading to improved quality, efficiency and capacity.
Level 3 care in the region is not currently maximised for optimal care delivery. In a facilitative role we will encourage collaboration and partnership between the Level 3 centres to enhance patient outcomes and experience for the whole region.
The Paediatric Critical Care ODN gives us an exciting opportunity to streamline pathways for common themes and to work collectively on multi-specialty pathways like neurosurgery and oncology.
We will liaise closely with STRS to enable a smooth and seamless journey for our patients from local hospitals to the 3 PICUs, working with colleagues to plan, test and implement new ways of working based on good practice and to develop plans for performance and service improvement.
Education and sharing of knowledge from diverse specialties provided by the 3 PICUs and STRS will ensure safe, high quality and financially sustainable services for the future.