January 18, 2024

Children’s Observation Hub supports more than 1,000 children and their families over winter

A pilot project to improve care and reduce trips to the emergency department for children and their families has supported more than 1,000 children in Wakefield District over winter so far.

The Children’s Observation Hub was launched in October 2023 to provide extra support and reassurance to parents during the colder months.

Latest figures show that since then, 1,046 children have been supported by the hub. Of those, 95.5 per cent have been supported to remain at home without the need for admission.

The hub is being delivered by Conexus Healthcare CIC – a GP-led, not-for-profit group of all GP practices in Wakefield District – on behalf of Wakefield Council and Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust.

Children between three months and 16-years-old with ‘amber’ symptoms of fever, respiratory illness or tummy upset can be referred into the hub by their GP practice or an out-of-hours service for remote monitoring or physical observation.

The hub provides telephone, video or face-to-face assessment and is able to issue ‘day passes’ to parents – with details of a contact number to access further support if they are worried about their child later in the day following their assessment.

Feedback from 70 parents who have used the hub, shows 97 per cent reported a positive experience and 96 per cent felt more confident looking after their child and managing their illness as a result of their contact with the hub.

One parent said:

“I didn’t know this was here and I was given the reassurance of what was the matter with my child, also got offered to stay in the children’s hub to get fluids in her and got a day pass too.

“This is a great experience and also keeps people away from busy A&E departments. The doctor I saw also was very nice, understanding and very clear and reassured me. He squeezed me in straight away and was thorough with his examination.”

The pilot is due to run until the middle of February.

Dr Omar Alisha, Conexus Clinical Director, said:

“We are extremely pleased the Hub has been able to support so many children and families this winter.

“It is a notorious time for children picking up fevers, coughs and illness and we know how concerning it is when your child is unwell.

“For parents to know the Children’s Observation hub is on-hand hopefully provides a level of reassurance, as well as the support for their children to recover in the best place for them.”

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