News

More specialist nurses needed to give training on care for children on ventilation at home

Children on long-term ventilation at home are being harmed due to lack of training or poor equipment, study shows

Children on long-term ventilation at home are being harmed due to lack of training or poor equipment, study shows

Picture shows a young child on a ventilator. More specialist nurses needed to train carers for children on ventilation at home, an expert says.
Picture: iStock

More specialist nurses are needed to train other healthcare workers helping children on long-term ventilation at home, according to an academic in the field.

The comments come after a study found that children on long-term ventilation at home were harmed as a result of inadequately trained staff and carers or poor equipment in four out of ten officially reported incidents in England and Wales.

Of the 220 incidents included in the study, a child was harmed in 89 (41%) of them.

The study found incidents were caused by:

  • A shortage of nurses able to work in the community.
  • Family carers struggling to care for the child.
  • Unclear instructions on equipment.

The study recommends that all staff and carers, including nurses, receive training involving simulation for procedures such as an emergency tracheostomy change.

Case for care packages for families with children on long-term ventilation to be standardised

Equipment and maintenance procedures also need to be improved and clear guidelines set out for community-based services, the study shows.

The study recommends that care packages provided to families with children on long-term ventilation be standardised so parents are clear about the level of care their child should be receiving.

Consultant in paediatric care Emily Harrop, who co-authored the study, said a clinical nurse specialist in respiratory medicine is the first person she would go to for advice on training others in this field.

‘You need more people in specialist nursing roles to help cascade the training for more junior nurses, non-specialist nurses and healthcare assistants,’ said Dr Harrop, who is medical director of children’s hospice Helen & Douglas House.

Scottish Ambulance Service head of education and professional development Toby Mohammed said there has been an over-reliance on parents providing care for children on long-term ventilation at home.

Dr Mohammed, a member of the editorial advisory board of Nursing Children & Young People, argued for a greater emphasis on dedicated educators delivering training so a ‘robust education programme and competency framework would be created’.


In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.

Jobs