Groundbreaking initiative connecting health care for children across north west London shortlisted for prestigious award

A new child health initiative - which is delivering a different way of working across the NHS in north west London to provide the highest quality patient care for children and their families - has been shortlisted for a prestigious health care award.

The new child health general practice hub enables local GPs and patients to get local access to specialist care for a range of conditions, such asallergies or growth issues, putting the GP practice at the heart of child health care.

It has been shortlisted for the HSJ Awards for ‘primary care and community service redesign’. The winner will be announced on November 19.

Driven by paediatricians at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - with local GPs, commissioning and social care partners - the new initiative ‘Connecting Care for Children’ improves access to services and brings specialist expertise and community support directly into primary care, to best suit the needs of local children and their families.

It also aims to respond to national pledges to improve children’s health in Britain, where child mortality is worse than in all equivalent European countries.

The project will improve community health services and bring care closer to home for children across north west London.

It includesdirect telephone access to paediatricians for GPs, enabling them in turnto provide direct telephone access to patients.

Mando Watson, consultant paediatrician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust explained:

“We are delighted that our new child health general practice hub has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. It connects all the involved health professionals to encourage a ‘whole person’ approach to health care for our local children. 

“Improved out of hospital care enables families to be seen in a familiar setting with professionals they know and trust.”

She added: “Commissioners and child health leaders across England are showing an interest in this way of working, building skills and confidence in paediatrics outside of hospitals so that children can access the best possible advice and support within home and community settings. A report published this month by the Kings Fund showcases our programme.”

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Note to editors

The new child health general practice hub involves Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS West London Clinical Commissioning Group, Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, North West London Commissioning Support Unit and Health Education North West London.

A report published this month by the Kings Fund showcases the Connecting Care for Children programme:

Particular highlights of the initiative include:

  • Hospital paediatricians, GPs, practice nurses, health visitors and specialists meeting regularly to improve care for young patients
  • Email and telephone contact for advice and support between GPs and paediatricians, building on St Mary’s paediatric consultant hotline
  • Giving patients a significant role in the design of the services and peer to peer support to help the service meet the needs of the patients and families.