Service Improvement Projects

Connecting care children's hubs

The aim of Connecting Care Children's Hubs (CCCHs) is to improve the delivery of care to children and young people by increasing the connections between GPs, health visitors and paediatricians. The core elements of the hubs are that they are centered in primary care and built around a monthly multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meeting followed by a clinic in which a paediatrician and a GP see children together. The project, which was funded by NHS England, began in April 2018 and was led by the Hampshire Isle of Wight (HIOW) Sustainability, Transformation and Partnership (STP) children's programme team:

12 CCCHs were initially piloted across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight:

Impact of the CCCHs:

In addition, the introduction of the hubs was associated with reduced rates of urgent GP appointment, A&E attendances and admissions to hospital:

The NHS is now looking into ways to roll out the CCCHs across Hampshire, IOW and Dorset so that all children can benefit from them.

To hear more about the hubs from the people involved about them, click here.

NHS 111 paediatric desk projects

Parents commonly call NHS 111 when they are concerned about their child. The current system used by NHS 111 involves call handlers going through a series of pre-written questions (NHS pathways) to decide what is required. Unfortunately, this process almost always results in parents being advised to seek a face to face appointment with a doctor. However, at this face to face appointment, most parents are simply told that their child requires no specific treatment and that they can be managed at home. This process is often inconvenient and frustrating for parents and children alike.

We secured funding from NHS England in 2019 to create a new way of delivering NHS 111 services for children. Phone calls about children with common illnesses such as sore throats, ear infections, rashes and cough and colds will be filtered into a specific children's service (paediatric desk) where trained paediatric nurses and GPs will decide whether they can be managed at home or not. If they can, they will provide you with clear information on what to look out for and what to do at home to keep your child comfortable (safety netting).

Phase 1 of the project was completed in July 2019 and the results from it can be accessed by clicking here.

Phase 2 is due to begin in October 2019 and will involve children of all ages being managed by the desk, as well as a broader range of illnesses and the ability to 'talk' to a parent with a video call if required; this will allow the clinician to gather even more information about your child before they make their decision about whether they need to be seen or not.

Reducing mental health stigma in schools

In February 2018, the Mental Health Foundation released worrying statistics that 1 in 10 children suffer from depression or anxiety related issues, with almost half of cases involving children under the age of 14. What is of greater concern is that over half of schools in the UK are not in a position to help these children even though they are often the first point of contact for anxious parents looking for help.

The Healthier Together team decided to partner with the charity Simon Says in 2018 to develop educational resources to support teachers and children about mental health. The “Let’s Talk About Mental Health” project aimed to:

  • tackle the myths that surround mental health issues
  • reduce the stigma associated with it
  • reduce the barriers to seeking help by raising awareness of sources of support
  • Focus on depression, anxiety, self-harm and bereavement
  • promote a supportive and understanding community in schools and the wider community.

The resources were piloted in 6 schools across Hampshire, with 30 teaching staff involved and nearly 400 year 3 and 4 pupils (aged 7 to 8 years) participating.

To view the resources developed, click here.

The feedback from teaching staff included:

Children were surveyed before and after the project:

To view the final report, click here.

The resources are currently being reviewed by the education and public health teams from across Hampshire to decide how best to integrate them into the school curriculum.

Restorative Practice

When we work with and alongside children and families, rather than make decisions for them, we deliver far better care. This is the basis of restorative practice; it is founded on the principles of working ‘with’ people, rather than doing ‘to’ or for others. If done well, it helps to build trust between families and the organisations which are there to help them, encourages families and young people to make safe and healthy decisions and decreases crime and antisocial behaviour.

This project has brought together leaders from various organisations involved in supporting families, including the NHS, local government, social services, education and the criminal justice system. By working together, they can improve the way that services are delivered across Hampshire.

This short video was produced by the Wessex maternity, children and young people clinical network

Clear to watch a video from Wessex Clinical Senate and Networks on Restorative Practice

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