RCN helps produce new standards on children’s healthcare

New standards on children’s healthcare, designed to improve care, diagnosis and communication between relevant services, have been developed by the RCN and three other royal colleges

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New standards on the quality of care and experience of children have been developed by the RCN and three other royal colleges.

They are set out in a document called Facing the Future: Standards for Children with Ongoing Health Needs, and are designed to improve care, diagnosis and communication between relevant services.

The guidance, devised by the RCN, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, take account of feedback from service users.

The standards are aimed at ensuring that children’s healthcare provision is more co-ordinated.

Children should be involved

They state that children should be represented at executive level and be involved in designing and evaluating care so that services can be built around their needs.

Of the 11 standards, the first three focus on ensuring correct diagnosis and that treatment is as close to home for the patient as possible.

Standards four to eight cover long-term care including access to specialists, transition planning and mental health services.

Nine to eleven are aimed at connecting different organisations more efficiently and championing the role of children’s services in every health organisation.

Service providers must work together

RCN professional lead for children and young people Fiona Smith said: ‘We welcome these standards, which set the bar for caring for children with ongoing health needs.

‘From initial diagnosis to the long-term care and management of their conditions it is pivotal that children and young people are involved in decisions about their care.

‘These standards have been designed with their help, so they can have services built around their needs.

‘However, if we are to ensure that children and young people experience high-quality healthcare, service providers must work together throughout their care journey and ensure we have the right number of children’s nurses to provide safe care.’

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