County leads way in meeting targets

By Sharon AsplinESSEX is at the forefront of a national campaign to deliver more child-friendly services in hospitals.The county's success was announced following the publication of the National Service Framework for Children.

By Sharon Asplin

ESSEX is at the forefront of a national campaign to deliver more child-friendly services in hospitals.

The county's success was announced following the publication of the National Service Framework for Children.

Essex Strategic Health Authority assistant director of service development, Andy Graham, said: “We are going to improve the way we care for children in our hospitals.


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“The framework sets out a 10-year programme that sets national standards and methods for improving the delivery of social care and health services for children.

“Our challenge here in Essex is to build on the excellent work already taking place across the county in improving children's services.

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“A number of projects have already been initiated, including the introduction of a modern matron for children at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

“I know our hospital trusts will be consulting young people about the improvements that will be planned and I look forward to these plans coming to fruition.”

The plans will mean:

n an end to children staying inappropriately in adult wards

n physical separation between children and adults in accident and emergency departments

n different facilities for young children and adolescents

n specialist training for staff working with youngsters

n close working with education authorities so children do not fall behind in their schooling.

A spokesman for Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust, which is responsible for hospital services in north-east Essex, said many of the initiatives were already under way at Colchester General Hospital.

In January, its children's ward reopened after a £405,000 refurbishment, while the accident and emergency department has been modernised, allowing separate treatment and waiting area for youngsters and adults.

“Children awaiting routine surgery can also come into the hospital during a weekend beforehand and meet the staff and see the gowns so the environment is not so alien to them when they are admitted,” said the spokesman.

“In the longer term, the Colchester Primary Care Trust is looking to provide improved child development facilities at a new primary care centre at Turner Village.”

sharon.asplin@eadt.co.uk

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