Date Published: 2 October 2006

New guidelines for children's emergency health care in Scotland

Health News from Scotland

New guidelines for emergency health care as it relates to children and young people were launched today.

The Emergency Care Framework provides guidance on how best to deliver emergency care for children and young people, whether in hospital or in the community.

It recognises that while it is not feasible to provide full specialist care everywhere, services can be organised to ensure that every child or young person receives the best possible emergency care as close to home as possible.

A funding package also announced today will ensure doctors, nurses and other staff have the skills needed to give children and young people the care they need.

A three year action plan within the framework will address issues highlighted in the review.

The framework was launched at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh which has recently invested £1.8 million installing diagnostic radiology equipment specifically designed for children. The new equipment means they no longer have to be anaesthetised when they need a scan.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said:

" The framework will ensure that children and young people treated in the NHS in Scotland receive appropriate care in the right environment.

_ Children and young people have different healthcare needs to adults and services must reflect this.

_ By using nationally agreed standards of assessment and care, we can get the child or young person to the right place as quickly as possible.

_ The funding we have announced today will ensure that staff are trained to provide the right treatment and care for children when they are seriously ill or injured."

Emergency care services for children and young people were reviewed by a Children and Young Peoples Health Support Group working group, led by Dr Tom Beattie, Paediatric A&E consultant at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, and the framework is based on their findings.

Dr Beattie said:

" The review has highlighted the need for better training and education for those involved in emergency care for children and young people, the need to identify areas where different levels of care can be delivered and has given guidance as to standards which should be applied to both these areas. It is hoped that this framework will enable standards of care for children's emergencies to be maintained to the highest level."

Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive of NES, which will deliver the staff training, said:

" NHS Education for Scotland (NES) has designed a three-year national education plan to support the delivery of the Emergency Care Framework.

_ The central pillar of this education is a tiered approach which reflects and complements the vision for emergency care services set out in the Beattie report."

The Emergency Care Framework incorporates a £943,000 funding package to roll out a core skills and competencies training package led by NHS Education Scotland.

The Children and Young People's Health Support Group is the expert Ministerial advisory group on children and young peoples health established in response to Professor David Kerr's recommendations. The support group is chaired by Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive, NHS Education Scotland.


Source: Scottish Executive (Scotland).

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