Home visits making life easier for youngsters in Fife
Published: Monday 22 Jan 2018
A unique service aimed at ensuring children and young people spend less time in hospital is being extended to seven days a week.
NHS Fife’s Paediatric Home Visiting Service, which is based at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, is the first of its kind in Scotland and supports young people and their families from the comfort of their own home.
When a young person comes in to hospital, sometimes their stay can be elongated as they wait for a number of arrangements to be put in place to support their discharge. The Paediatric Home Visiting Service helps ensure they are able to leave hospital at the earliest opportunity by arranging a home visit within the first 48 hours of leaving, ensuring patients and their carers they have the medical and social support that they need.
Uniquely, Community Nurses from the Service can also provide Intravenous Antibiotics to young people in their homes or at school. NHS Fife is the first health board in Scotland to provide this service.
Community Children’s Nurse, Joanne Bruce, says the benefits of the service are significant and mean many young patients no longer miss out on important events:
“Coming into hospital can often be a daunting experience for young people and we work to make sure they spend no longer in our wards than they need to.
“For instance, young people coming in to receive intravenous antibiotics would previously have had to spend up to two weeks on a ward. Our service means many patients can stay out of hospital and receive care in their own home, or in somewhere else in the community, such as their school. This is great for them on a number of levels; they do not have to spend so much time in hospital and being away from home and family, they won’t have to miss out or fall behind at school or miss seeing their friends, and disruption to normal family life is kept to a minimum.
Community Children’s Nurse, Pauline Clemison, added: “Alongside medical support, we also work closely with parents and carers to make sure they feel confident in caring for a young person, and that they are able to cope with the demands of that care.
“Ultimately, the Paediatric Home Visiting Service makes a positive impact on the lives of our young patients and by extending its provision from five to seven days a week, we hope to further improve their experiences.”