VECTIS VIEW: Geoff Smith – Paediatric Department Charge Nurse

By Press Release Oct 19, 2021

Over the past year our Paediatric Emergency Department (Children’s A&E) on the Isle of has undergone a significant transformation to improve the care and experiences of children and their families who need our services.

We see around 8,000 paediatric attendances each year to our Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) and A&E, so it is important that our young patients are seen in a dedicated area that means they are being treated and cared for in an environment that meets their needs.

The new facility includes an observation area, assessment cubicles and a stabilisation bay that can be adapted to 2 stabilisation bays if needed.

Our young patients often come into our emergency departments all at once, so we need the room to be able to treat multiple patients at any one time. This new space has been designed so we can adapt and create multiple treatment areas when we need to.

Hospitals can be a really scary place, especially for young people. Previously they would have had to walk past our adult resus department which can often be a really busy area and overwhelming for young people.

We now have three to four times more space which is really important when we could potentially have multiple trauma patients in the department. Although we are not a specialist children’s hospital, we are really passionate about improving our services so we can provide the very best quality of care.

One of the key project requirements was creating audio and visual separation of the children’s waiting area from the adult section within ED, which we have achieved through the installation of secure-access doors at both ends of the new department. The inclusion of wall vinyl artwork in the refurbishment has created a more relaxing environment where children can receive emergency care. Similarly if we have a patient who has dementia in our adult area then it can be quite distressing for them to be listening to children who might be crying.

The team have worked hard for the last few months to deliver this achievement, however they have even more plans in their long term vision for the service.

Before I qualified as a nurse four years ago I used to work as a research analyst, so I am drawing on my skills that were heavily customer experience focused and incorporating them into our future plans for our paediatric emergency department. I am also a parent myself so when we are developing our plans I can do this not only with my nursing hat on but also as a potential service user and worried parent.
Whilst this new environment is a massive step towards improving our emergency paediatric services the team are always looking for new ways to improve the care they provide.

Earlier this year our Trust was inspected by our regulators, the Care Quality Commission, and the report, published last month, outlines just how much we had improved as an organisation. We have moved from a ‘Requires improvement’ rating to a ‘Good’ rating, and as an organisation we are so proud. Although we were disappointed that they didn’t visit our department during the inspection, we cannot wait to show just how far we have come to improve the care and experience in our Children’s Emergency Department when they visit us in the future.