Children and young people needing hospital care in Greater Manchester will now have more chance of being cared for locally, thanks to the launch of a new digital reporting system.
The innovative new reporting system is being rolled out in July across eight children’s centres in Greater Manchester. It means children and young people will be more likely to be cared for in their local hospital or sent to one with available beds nearby.
The reporting system allows for the eight hospitals to instantly share vital information about bed availability and adequate staffing levels. It has been designed specifically for paediatric care, which needs more staff per patient to guarantee safe staffing levels.
The data and reporting for the new digital system, sit on the Greater Manchester Digital Platform, an advanced technology solution that allows data from multiple sources to e re-used by a variety of systems.
Julie Flaherty, consultant nurse, Paediatric Emergency medicine Royal Oldham hospital, said:
“We’ve had a central paediatric bed management bureau for around six years but we’ve been capturing this information manually until now – this has involved staff calling round each organisation at least four times a day and collating the information on paper.
“Because we need to guarantee safe staffing levels, we often have to close beds when staff are absent at short notice. As we only have 200 children’s secondary care beds across Greater Manchester, this has a massive impact. Often children had to be transferred to other hospitals and sometimes this means they have to go out of Greater Manchester to places like Blackburn, Preston and even Bangor!
“If I know I’ve got five nurses, I know I can open 20 beds – the system tells us how many nurses are on each shift, how many beds which organisation has and how many patients we have in. It also tells us at a glance how many HDU beds we have available or full for the more sicker babies and children.”
The digital system can be viewed across all eight hospitals and other community nurses can view it, as well as teams from the Urgent care Network and Intensive Care Network.
One other benefit is that staff can see instantly if there are children with specific needs, such as mental health needs who need more intensive nursing. They can also determine how many high dependency beds are available for children across the city region.
Julie continued: “It’s brilliant and will make a huge difference for the children and their families - If I went on now, I could see at a glance where the beds were, whether they are in a single room or a bay, and how many nurses are on each ward. It also tells us how many children are in assessment units so we can predict how many children are likely to be coming onto the wards later that day, as well as what type of patients they are.
“It’s really exciting for us and will not only save us time, but will give us a clearer more accurate picture of how we are delivering care to children and young people across Greater Manchester.”
The eight NHS sites using the reporting system include:
The Royal Oldham Hospital (Northern Care Alliance)
North Manchester General Hospital
University Hospital of South Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospital (Manchester University NHS Trust)
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Albert Edward infirmary, Wigan (Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)