Pioneering Paediatric team use their expertise

A pioneering team is leading the way as it puts its wealth of specialist experience into treating local youngsters.

South Tyneside Urgent Care for Children is located close to outpatients and adult A&E.

Early in August, South Tyneside District Hospital launched a new Urgent Care for Children service, turning it into a nurse-led service, where vastly experienced nursing staff now head up the unit.

The service is open from 8am until 10pm every day and based in exactly the same location at the hospital.

The changes mean urgent care for children is still available seven days a week, 365 days a year in South Tyneside.

Children with any major, life threatening problems are now cared for at Sunderland Royal Hospital, as they already are overnight.

The paediatric nursing team in South Tyneside are experts in their field and have trained and worked in emergency care over many years.

All of the team specialise in children’s care and include advanced paediatric nurses, paediatric nurses, children’s nurses and health care assistants.

They do many of the things that traditionally would have been done by a doctor in the past, such as organising diagnostic tests, scans or x-rays, interpreting the results and beginning treatment.

Fiona Kerr is the deputy manager of South Tyneside Urgent Care for Children and has 30 years of experience in paediatric nursing.

Fiona said: “We have a highly skilled nursing team with a wealth of combined experience in paediatrics, many from the former Children’s A&E.

“Together we have cared for the children of South Tyneside for many years.

“Our new Urgent Care for Children service still looks after the vast majority of children who need urgent help and we want families to feel absolutely reassured.

“Our team are very much part of the community and it is the same friendly faces that will be here when you need us.”

South Tyneside Urgent Care for Children continues to look after the vast majority of children who attend hospital with an urgent problem. Anyone in need of urgent advice about their child should call NHS 111 or 999 in a life threatening emergency.

From broken bones to minor burns

The new nurse-led urgent care service in South Tyneside treats children from birth, up to the age of 16, for a range of injuries and illnesses which are urgent but not life threatening. This includes, for example:

- Broken bones- Children with mild breathing problems

- Common childhood infections in the chest, ears or throat- Children who are being sick or have diarrhoea

- Cuts and open wounds that need closing- Minor burns- Minor bumps or head injuries n Sprained ankles or strained muscles

Positive feedback from families

Since launching the new service in August, there have been lots of positive comments from families on social media.

Among those to offer feedback is one woman who said: “Thank you to the department for all your help today. My grandson broke his arm and each and every one of you helped him and made him feel brave and for helping my daughter. You are all a credit to our profession.”Another said: “We were seen by Sandra in the new urgent care for children.“My son was seen so quickly for a minor burn and the advanced practitioner was kind, knowledgeable and gave us excellent care and advice. I am so happy we have this excellent nurse led service available to us. Thank you.”