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Professionals meet to discuss transforming child health care in Cumbria

Homepage » News » Professionals meet to discuss transforming child health care in Cumbria

Professionals meet to discuss transforming child health care in Cumbria

Posted on Friday 29th June 2012

Professionals in Cumbria are being urged to take part in a key conference on improving health services for children in the County.

The conference is being organised by Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in partnership with Health Builders an NHS collaboration which brings together professionals and organisations in Cumbria that are involved in the health care of children.

Delegates at the event at Rheged near Penrith on Friday 6th July will hear calls for a transformation in the way health services are provided for children across the county. 

They will discuss what they can do to provide services which have a much stronger focus on the needs of children and their families and provide a more joined up approach from professionals working in different organisations.

Zoe Beck, a parent from Kendal, will share her experience of caring for three children with disabilities and talk about what those involved in healthcare can do to help families like them.

There will also be a keynote speech by Dr Hilary Cass, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on ‘Child Health in the 21st Century’.

Dr Neela Shabde is Medical Director for Children at NHS Cumbria and Cumbria CCG. She said: “This event is all about bringing together health professionals, local authorities and the third sector who work with children and families from across Cumbria to discuss how we can make a real difference to way services currently run. To me it’s about pursuing excellence for the children of Cumbria.

“At the moment we know that children’s health services can be difficult for families to negotiate as often they involve moving between different organisations and professionals. This can sadly lead to some families feeling lost and confused and not really sure where to go or who to speak to, to get issues resolved. This is something we are keen to tackle and only by coming together to discuss these issues with those who work on the ground with families every day, can we build the relationships and find the solutions we need to improve things.

“Looking after the healthcare of children is vitally important and experiences in early life can have an in their adulthood. We must get it right for children in Cumbria.”

This event is for GPs, paediatricians, acute and community paediatric health practitioners, children’s mental health professionals, children’s health commissioners, local authority Children’s Services and third sector children and family groups. It is being funded by Commissioning GPs from Cumbria’s Shadow Clinical Commissioning Group.

Dr Paul Gibson is a Consultant Paediatrician at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and the Associate Medical Director for Health Builders. He says: “We know that the quality of child health care in Cumbria is not as good as it can be and this event is one of the early steps we are taking to start looking at how we can work together to do this.

“Health Builders, through bringing together organisations in Cumbria, wants to look at how we can improve the experiences which children, young people and families have when using local health services. We want all those involved in these services to get involved so that together we can transform the quality of health care for children in Cumbria.”

Dr Hugh Reeve is a Cumbrian GP and Chair of Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group. He said: “As GPs, we understand the importance of getting health services for children and families right.

“If services are not integrated and health professionals do not talk to each other then we know that it can be very difficult for families to know where to go to get help. This is why we were keen to fund this conference so we can bring all organisations together to get everyone talking about how we join up these gaps to provide the best care we can for children.”

The conference will include keynote speeches and workshops on the experience of providing child health services in other parts of the UK and other countries and improving links between GPs and hospital services.

The conference will also hear about Health Builders, their model and a set of tools that they have developed to help health care professionals provide more family focussed care.

The first of these is a six step guide to good quality care for children with constipation. It starts with helping parents identify if their child is constipated; who they can go to for help; what the team involved will do and how parents should be involved and how to tell whether their child is better.

Zoe Beck has one child with Aspergers Syndrome and two others with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. She says: “I spend a lot of time supporting other families affected by ASD/ADHD and the one thing they need more than anything is someone to listen, someone to steer them in the right direction.”

There has already been an overwhelming response to the conference with over 125 delegates from across Cumbria registered to attend. Other such events are planned over the coming year to build on the first gathering.


Posted on Friday 29th June 2012


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