Department of Health and Social Care
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Benefits to ill and disabled children in the community highlighted

The critical role community nurses play in ensuring ill and disabled children get tailored care and support, was set out recently by Public Health Minister Anne Milton as she published a new report aimed at helping commissioners and providers improve services.

Speaking at the first National Conference on Child Health in the Community in Telford, Ms Milton outlined the Government’s commitment to providing greater support to ill and disabled children and their families. The Minister also set out how the report, “NHS at Home: Community Children’s Nursing Services should help improve awareness of the key role community children’s nurses play.

 

Anne Milton said:

 

"Every child should have access to care and services according to their unique needs. Facing major treatment, disability or long-term illness can be stressful and fearful for both children and their families - but particularly at a young age. At a time like this children want their families close by.

 

“For too long, services have been organised to fit the convenience of the system. An improved health service will put the best interests of the patient first - that is why we are modernising the NHS.

 

“Community children’s nurses are often the people that make that happen and the key role they play must be recognised when looking at commissioning and providing services.  We want to make sure that can happen everywhere, whenever it’s necessary.”

 

The publication will also go some way towards meeting the vision for choice outlined in the document that accompanied the NHS White Paper, ‘Achieving Equity and Excellence for Children’. This vision is that children receive care that enables them to be at home with their families as much as possible and treatment that will enable them to lead as normal a life as possible.

 

NHS at Home: Community Children’s Nursing Services, shares the key messages important in securing a comprehensive, safe and sustainable local service and gives examples of local services already providing aspects of this.

 

Notes to Editors:

 

In 2009/10, the Department of Health embarked on a project to develop an evidence base to support potential models for Community Children’s Nursing (CCN) services, including an evaluation of the health economics and cost-benefit analysis of such services.  The work focussed on the needs of ill and disabled children, including meeting their emotional health and wellbeing. The project found that few local CCN services are able to meet the needs of all ill and disabled children, but found many examples where services were improving children’s lives, for example, one parent said that:

 

“In 2007/08 she had 14 hospital admissions lasting one to five days. Since the community children’s nurse came in 2009, she has had only two. She has had a lot less acute admissions this year due to the nurses.”

 

The resulting report from this project is published today and can be found at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_124898

 

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