Background From approximately 1.7 million children North West and North Wales (UK), 600–700 transferred annually from 31 hospitals into 2 regional PICs. PICS standards 2010 state “wherever possible and appropriate, parents should be given the option to accompany their child during transfer”. Parental stress is increased by not being able to travel with their child (1). Pre-NWTS, unit-based PIC transport teams use of front-line ambulances precluded parents travelling with their child. North West and North Wales PIC Transport Service (NWTS) started November 2010, as single dedicated regional service. Our service level agreement with private ambulance provider states must have four seats to ensure minimum one parent can travel.
Methods Prospective audit of NWTS database (first year). NWTS staff questionnaire.
Results 558 parents (100%) offered opportunity to travel with their child, 328 accepted (58.8%).
Pre-NWTS, staff voiced concerns particularly potential difficulties if child deteriorated during transfer with parents present. Post NWTS, majority of staff recognise positive benefits especially if child may not survive, and no adverse incidents reported relating to parents.
Conclusion Parental uptake of an opportunity to travel with their child is a ringing endorsement of our new policy.“NWTS not only kept our daughter alive, but kept our family together.”
References 1 “The worst journey of our lives”: parents’ experiences of a specialised paediatric retrieval service. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2003 19(2):103–8 Colville G et al.