Save Chester's Children's Hospital at Home
This petition had 5,567 supporters
Next week, the Children's Hospital at Home team based at the Countess of Chester is due to be shut down due to 'lack of funding'. The Hospital at Home Team provides an invaluable service by providing acute care for children to reduce the number of children admitted to the Children's ward, facilitate early discharge, reduce the lengths of stay and also reduce the rates of readmission to secondary care. By treating children in the home environment, quality of life is improved for the patient and family. This devastating decision by West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group will have a lasting disastrous impact on families in West Cheshire, our children, and also the doctors, nurses and bed availability on the Children's Unit.
As a family who has accessed this service countless times for our daughters oncology care we know how important this service is. The team prevented further inpatient stays for our child when time away from hospital settings was precious to us. The nursing team were able to build up our daughters confidence and trust in nurses which helped immensely with further life saving treatment. Had the service not existed we would have taken up not only a bed space on the Children's Unit, but an isolation room on a regular basis over the course of 2.5 years. Our child is one of 1,269 referrals (children) that have been treated and cared for by the Hospital at Home team over the last 2 years.
The team relieves the strain of added inpatient stays on the Children's Unit and further referrals to local GP's. During April 2015 - April 2016 710 children were referred to this service that would have otherwise taken up bed space on the Children's Unit, GP appointments and GP out of hour appointments .
The team of 7 provide the following services that will soon be placing extra strain on the Children's Unit and local GPs: IV antibiotics, daily wound changes, Eczema nightly baths/creams/wet wraps, Asthma, Bronchiolitis, Chest Infections, Parental Anxiety, Diarrhoea and Vomiting bugs and Oncology; blood tests, GCSF, End of Life care.
At a time when the NHS are placing emphasis of care in the community it makes no sense or benefit to discontinue this service. The care provided by the Hospital at Home Team is greatly needed. By closing the doors on this service the West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group is placing increased stress on the doctors and nurses that work within the Children's Unit and extra strain on a ward that has limited bed space by the sheer influx of increased patient care. The impact of this decision is devastating.
Without this service the Children's Unit at the Countess of Chester will be unable to cope with demand which will lead to ward closure and longer admissions. Our children will suffer massively as accessing services and care on the unit will mean long periods of hospitalisation and 'bed blocking'. For many families, including our own this is without doubt a huge strain on family life.
We need to act now and make it known to West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group that it is in the best interest of the Trust, the community, the Children's Unit and most importantly our children to continue the Children's Hospital at Home Service. By closing this service they are sending a clear message that our children's care can be compromised.
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