Background and Aims The ‘High Dependency Care for Children’ (Department of Health, 2001) report stipulates HDU level of care for all in-patient paediatric units. While the importance of regular audit is undisputed, concerns have been raised regarding the accuracy of data available to the Greater Manchester Paediatric & Child Health Network (GMP&CHN) and the consequences for optimal service provision.
This study aims to review and compare the utilisation of the Paediatric HDU at our District General Hospital with data available to the regional network (GMP&CHN).
Methods Retrospective study of Paediatric HDU admissions between 02/09/2009 and 20/11/2011. Data was separated into 12 diagnostic categories and analysed for admission/readmission frequency and length of stay (defined as presence in HDU per calendar day) and compared with the respective figures of the GMP&CHN 2011 regional audit of Paediatric HDU.
Results 208 patients were admitted 245 times, of which 39 (18.75%) were readmissions. Mean length of stay per admission was 2.28 days (median: 2 days, range: 1–16 days). HDU occupancy rate over the study period (1,014 days) was 55.13% (559 days). For the period January–August 2011, GMP&CHN figures show 23 admissions, a 40.35% underestimation of the actual figure (57 admissions).
Conclusions Paediatric HDU activity at our DGH has been under-reported. This may not be an uncommon phenomenon nation- wide.
We call for further review of HDU activity at units both regionally and nationally with a move towards agreed standards for data dissemination and reporting as per the Paediatric Critical Care Minimum Data Set.