HUC’s Luton and Bedfordshire NHS 111 service and the children’s rapid response team are believed to be the first in the country to work together to receive direct referrals from NHS 111 for children under five, in a bid to reduce hospital emergency attendance.
Now it has been shortlisted for an HSJ Patient Safety Award in the “Improving Care for Children and Young People Initiative of the Year” category.
This referral route provides a safe, appropriate alternative for children and young people (up to the age of 16) who may have otherwise been directed to an emergency department or been dispatched an ambulance via NHS 111. It has been shown to support young patients receiving the right care in the right place whilst avoiding unnecessary hospital attendance and admission.
High numbers of emergency department attendances by children led the partners to develop the pathway.
The children’s rapid response team is an NHS service at Luton Children and Adults Community Health Services (part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust).
Set up in 2013 the goal was to provide a community-based paediatric admissions avoidance and care service offering advanced nursing care and short-term intensive support. The service runs seven days a week with face-to-face appointments and covers Luton and Bedfordshire. In addition to receiving direct referrals from NHS 111, referrals are also accepted from Luton and Bedford hospitals, all Luton and Bedfordshire GPs, 0-19 teams, paramedics, children’s community nursing and special needs nursing team.