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G210 Health and Education Working in Collaboration to Reduce Emergency Department Attendances Through Engaging with Children About the NHS and How to Use It
  1. M Clements1,2,
  2. K Evans1,
  3. H Sadler2
  1. 1Children and Young People Programme, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Coventry, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bury St Edmunds, UK
  3. 3AhHa Publications Limited, Eastbourne, UK


Aim To work collaboratively with education to produce a lesson planner and teacher resource pack for use in primary schools to teach children about the NHS and how to stay healthy.

To ensure children are seen in the right place at the right time and avoid unnecessary Emergency attendances.

Methods Children and Young people (CYP) feedback that no-one tells them about the NHS until until they are unwell. Nationally there is increased attendance at emergency departments (ED). It is estimated that 40% of ED attendances could be avoided.

A lesson planner for 11–14yr olds was developed collaboratively with young people in 2010 to teach them about the NHS and distributed to 4000 secondary schools.

Subsequently there has been a demand for a primary care version (see figure 1 – NHS Emergency and Urgent Care Services). This has been co-produced with health, a parent and teacher and graphic designer.

It uses a Monkey puppet and an NHS Monkey song. There are a variety of games for example picture scenario cards and role-play and a series of film clips illustrating different NHS services. E.g. Community Children’s Nurses, pharmacists, GP’s etc.

Children and young people have been involved in producing and testing the package in mainstream and special schools.

Results The secondary care lesson planner evaluation demonstrated that following education young people were more likely to opt for self- care or primary care.

The primary school lesson planner will be distributed to 19,000 primary schools

It is a high quality interactive, innovative multi-media resource which has been tested and well received in a number of schools and early evaluation and feedback is positive. The teachers resource pack can be picked up and used. It complements the national curriculum across 6 year groups focusing on personal health and social education but also extending into other areas.

Conclusion This is a highly innovative and collaborative piece of work aimed at educating children, young people and families

If this resource prevents just 1 ED attendance per primary school it could save £1.4 million pound (£1.2 million return on investment) but even more importantly it is teaching CYP and families to use the right service at the right time.

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