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Community paediatric nurses could cut rise in child A&E admissions

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Community children’s nursing teams are vital to prevent unnecessary admissions to emergency departments, to support care at home and to speed up discharge, recommends research.

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement report found over three million young people were seen in A&E departments in England over the last three years – with admissions up 6.8% during this period. Length of stay had risen too – by 15%.

The researchers examined best practice systems across England and carried out workshops with children to find out what their needs were.

Their findings underlines the importance of community children’s nursing teams’ roles in care of young people receiving emergency and urgent care.

It also recommended that provision of on-site inpatient beds was not always necessary if children could be safely transferred to the nearest children’s ward.

The report called for the development of clinical networks joining primary and secondary care and improved primary care services to prevent unnecessary attendance at hospital emergency departments.

Locating emergency departments, children’s emergency departments and children’s assessment units together would smooth the care pathway for young people and mean staff could work jointly and share skills.

Play specialists were also needed to reassure children through examinations and operations.

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