Children and young people across the Southern area, who have a complex health care needs, are benefiting from the Community Children’s Nursing (CCN) Service, which has extended its operating hours.
The highly experienced team provides a range of nursing care and treatment to children and young people in their own homes for example, administering IV antibiotic treatment, monitoring of hydration, wound care and reviewing children and young people in their own home.
The service traditionally operated Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm providing community nursing care across the five district council areas of Newry and Mourne, Armagh, Dungannon and South Tyrone, Banbridge and Craigavon.
The CCN Team now provide a service from 8am-10pm Monday to Friday and 8am -8pm at weekends and bank holidays thanks to funding from the Southern Local Commissioning Group (a sub-committee of the Health and Social Care Board).
Speaking at the Health and Social Care Board’s November public meeting, Sheelin McKeagney, Chair of the Southern Local Commissioning Group (LCG) said: “The Southern LCG provided additional funding, to enhance the capacity of the existing Community Children’s Nursing Service, following engagement with families and staff about how we could improve the service.
“Having this responsive service has reduced the need for some children to be admitted to hospital or remain in hospital longer than they require. This is in line with the principles set out in Transforming Your Care, which enables care to be provided outside of normal working hours and at home or as close to home as possible.”
Staff Nurse Catherine Watters who works for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s Community Children’s Nursing Team says: “On many occasions previously these appointments would have required to be facilitated in hospital causing disruption to the child or young person who is ill and their family.
“The benefits of this enhanced community service have had a significant impact not only on the quality of lives of these children and young people but their families and carers. It has allowed the team to build up a relationship with children and young people and their families referred to the service, providing the medical and emotional support to care for them in their homes. On some occasions, whilst children are still in hospital, the team has shadowed acute staff providing their care, allowing families to become familiar with CCN staff before discharged for home care. The team also provides extra support in times of need for families, for example while they are on holiday.”
Lindsey Dodds, from The Birches, Portadown, is mum of Jake aged 11. Jake has been in hospital for a prolonged period of time and receives nursing treatment three times a day. Delighted with the service Lindsey commented:
“The Community Children’s Nursing Team is an excellent service. Before this service was available, Jake could have only been treated in a hospital. The Community Nursing Team now enables Jake to stay at home and get his treatment instead of having to travel to hospital three times a day.
“Before the extended hours we normally had to uproot the whole family, put them into the car at 9pm in the evening and travel to the hospital for Jake’s treatment. Now with the nursing team coming to us at this time we can have a normal family life.
“Jake loves being treated at home where he can play his video games and where his family and friends can come and visit which was not always possible when he was in hospital.”
The Spiers family from Warrenpoint added, “We can’t thank the CCN team enough. Our son Dan receives IV antibiotics 3 times per day for a 3 week period at a time, and our family couldn’t do without the help of the team. Every nurse is always bright and cheery and gets on well with all of us!”
To view the Community Children’s Nursing Team caring for Jake visit www.transformingyourcare.hscni.net/real-life-stories