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G322(P) The development of a paediatric short stay unit
  1. RC Mitchell,
  2. L Watt,
  3. S Beadle,
  4. S Harris,
  5. M Bearsmore-Rust,
  6. O Akindolie
  1. Department of Ambulatory Paediatrics, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK


Aims There has been pioneering reshaping of our hospital’s ambulatory paediatric services over the last year. In line with the RCPCH report ‘Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Units’, published in 2009, a paediatric short stay unit (PSSU) opened in July 2014, for children needing admission for less than 48 h. It is a consultant delivered service, which aims to meet and exceed the RCPCH ‘Facing the Future’ standards of care.

Methods Activity data for the first 5 months has been analysed and the impact upon other paediatric services assessed. Patient experience has also been evaluated.

Results To date, 466 patients have been admitted to PSSU with a median length of stay of 18 h. Elsewhere in the trust, there have been fewer general paediatric bed days (1233) since PSSU opening, compared to 1548 for the same period last year. Since PSSU opening, only 1 patient has been ‘treated and transferred’ to another hospital from PED due to lack of capacity, compared to 10 for the same period last year. Patient satisfaction questionnaires have reported that 76% of families would recommend PSSU to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment. The comments from patients and their families about PSSU have been overwhelmingly positive (Figure 1).

Abstract G322(P) Figure 1

Examples of patient feedback collected in September 2014

Conclusion PSSU has been phenomenally successful in streamlining the patient journey for children requiring hospital admission for less than 48 h. There have been significant secondary gains elsewhere, with reduced numbers of patients needing transfer to other hospitals from PED due to lack of capacity, and increased numbers of inpatient beds for speciality patients. The model of a paediatric short stay unit is here to stay; as was highlighted by ‘Facing the Future’ publication, acute paediatric care should be delivered in a specialised setting, fronted by senior staff who truly believe in the service. This PSSU is one example of this, as a successful expansion of our ambulatory paediatrics service.

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