Children should only be admitted to hospital when absolutely necessary. Time lost from education, distress and other impacts resulting from a stay in hospital should be avoided whenever possible. Admission should only be considered when absolutely clinically unavoidable. It is also very important that health history and other relevant information are shared effectively to limit the burden on families during stressful periods.
A whole-system approach is needed to move health care out of hospitals. Services need to be redesigned to allow caring for children within community settings – using learning from the Five Year Forward View vanguards on new models of care. Areas will be establishing place-based systems of care in which they collaborate with other NHS organisations and services to address the challenges and improve the health of the populations they serve.
Overall care should be underpinned by the Children and Families Act 2014 and reflective of the United Nation Convention on rights of a child (UNCR) that says that every child has the right to:
- a childhood (including protection from harm)
- be educated (including all girls and boys completing primary school)
- be healthy (including having clean water, nutritious food and medical care)
- be treated fairly (including changing laws and practices that are unfair on children)
- be heard (including considering children’s views)
Work already underway
We are currently working with a range of London health professionals, young people and their families to produce materials that support commissioners and providers of out of hospital healthcare services. Out of hospital means any care that is not undertaken in a traditional hospital setting. This could include healthcare in the community, at the patient’s home or school or workplace or in a GP practice. Materials will include:
- London’s out-of-hospital standards for children and young people
- Compendium: New models of care for acutely unwell children and young people
- Alternative models of care for children and young people
- Opportunities for pharmacy to support out of hospital care