Advances in medical care means that the number of children with complex needs being treated at The Royal Children’s Hospital continues to grow. These children require multiple specialists and services involved in their treatment, which can be extremely challenging for families to coordinate and manage. With the new RCH Complex Care Service, this is changing.
The Royal Children’s Hospital Complex Care service, is a new way of working, created, piloted and evaluated in 2014/15, to better support complex patients and their families. The complex care team believes that the most successful care comes from partnership, which is why there is now a specific team dedicated to working with complex patients and their families. By offering additional support, the needs of the patient and their family can be better managed and the impact of the child’s illness on the family is lessened.
The dedicated team, consisting of a Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC), a doctor, an administration assistant and a social worker, work closely with the family to understand their needs and develop care and emergency plans to meet them.
“The CNC, acts as a single point of contact for the family, providing 24/7 access to advice and support liaising with all the child’s health care providers, both inside and outside of the hospital. This not only takes pressure off the family to coordinate the child’s treatment, but results in improved coordination of care as all of the patient’s health professionals are kept informed, enabling a holistic approach to the child’s care,” says Nicki Mountford, RCH Clinical Nurse Consultant.
The team help the family to better navigate the hospital system in any way they can. Whether this is by coordinating their appointments, helping to connect the family with community supports, or by providing advice or answers to any questions they have, The Royal Children’s Hospital Complex Care team is keen to support the family in any way possible.
“This increased level of support and coordination for the families means that they are attending The Royal Children’s Hospital less frequently and spending more time enjoying life outside of the hospital.” -Nicki Mountford, RCH Clinical Nurse Consultant
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