September 5, 2023

Children’s nursing initiative shortlisted for prestigious national award

A scheme to help more children access appointments at a local GP practice has been shortlisted for a national award.  Health Care First GP practice, with surgeries in Ferrybridge, Knottingley, Airedale, Castleford, Normanton and Methley are finalists in the ‘Nursing in Primary Care’ category of the Nursing Times Awards 2023, for their innovative paediatric (children’s) nursing initiative.

This scheme was developed in response to difficulties in recruiting GPs and advanced clinical practitioners and an increase in demand for Accident and Emergency services in the 0- to 4-year-old age group, registered with the practice.

Three nurses who had been trained in paediatric nursing, were recruited to assess poorly children when they came into the GP practice.  The nurses, based at the Airedale and Ferrybridge sites, brought unique expertise to the roles, with skills in identifying sick and acutely unwell children and babies, coupled with an understanding of the anxieties of parents.

During the height of the winter pressures, and with the outbreak of strep A, these nurses provided 500 extra appointments in November 2022 alone – with positive feedback from parents and carers of babies and children who felt that the nurses had listened to their concerns and resolved their issues.

Dr Colin Speers, GP Partner, Health Care First said: “Employing these specialist nurses has meant that children and their families have been able to access appointments and advice more quickly in the practice. Since they started, the nurses have also increased the range services they offer to include childhood vaccinations and asthma clinics and are now looking to develop their roles further.

Feedback and ratings received from a recent patient questionnaire about the service were very positive and the children’s nurses have become an integral part of our primary care team.”

Feedback from a parent of a four-year-old: “My daughter has had a couple of appointments with one of the children’s nurses at the practice and I would just like to say thank you so much as she is amazing with children, she is so knowledgeable and helpful.”

The team will find out if they have been successful Nursing Times Awards ceremony on Wednesday 25 October.

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