Background and Aims Children with chronic conditions have complex healthcare needs. They need a service which ensures easy access with continuity of care while providing co-ordination and support for self-management. Open access to hospital provides one such service and we reviewed our existing local practice to gain insight and improve our service.
Methods Study was conducted at Warrington General Hospital, which is a busy district general hospital in United Kingdom. This is a retrospective review of patients who have an open access to children’s ward. Patient information regarding the lead consultant, diagnosis, management plan and advice available from open access folder were reviewed.
Results Total number of patients with open access to children’s ward were 182. 95% had information regarding their diagnosis, 80% had named lead consultant. Only 35% had information on advice and management, and 30% had information regarding patient medication. There was overall poor documentation and poor information on patient details. It was also noted that there was no consistency by the consultants regarding the layout of the open access letter.
Conclusion Patient information and management plan were incomplete in majority. Our data shows the need to identify these children with chronic complex needs who can access hospital easily, have a system to keep up-to date information which will help in provision of better care and service, and share information among different professionals.
Based on these findings, we have made recommendations to improve the local practice and information management.