Meet the nurses keeping children out of hospital

Nurses based in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale have been working hard to keep children out of hospital and reduce pressure on busy services over the winter.

The Paediatric Nurse Practitioners, part of the Children’s Acute and Ongoing Needs Service, have helped half of their patients to avoid hospital by running clinics in the community.

Paediatric Nurses JanineThe nurses offer support for 0 to 19 year olds with a minor illness. They provide assessment and treatment, or a referral to another appropriate service, when a GP appointment is not available.

The team can also give health education to parents to help them look after their children’s health in future, where appropriate.

If this support wasn’t available, 50 percent of children who came to see the nurses said they would have gone to a local A&E or urgent care service (*).

Donna Pearce is a Paediatric Nurse Practitioner. She said: “By reassuring parents and giving health education, we can help to prevent minor illnesses from getting worse, which could result in the child ending up in hospital. 

“Our service is helping to reduce pressure on A&E and urgent care services, so they are freed up to look after those at higher risk.”

Janine Parry, Paediatric Nurse Practitioner, added: “We know that it can be really stressful for parents when their child gets poorly, so it’s important for them to have quick and easy access to support or advice.

“It’s really rewarding helping children get back to feeling their normal selves and putting parents’ minds at ease.”

Natalie Horner, brought her 20 week old daughter Poppy to see the nurses after she developed a cough and a temperature.

Paediatric Nurses Donna

Natalie said: “The nurses checked Poppy over thoroughly, I’m very happy with the treatment and I would definitely recommend the service to other parents.”

To build on their great work, the paediatric nurse practitioners are looking to expand.  Two new nurses about to join the team and there are plans to recruit a further three.

The nurses are also very active on Facebook with their page @hmrpnp keeping local people up to date with health advice and information about their clinics.

(*) Based on patient experience feedback in September and October 2017.