Future model for acute paediatric services in Northern Trust hospitals

Closed 26 Feb 2018

Opened 28 Nov 2017


The nature of children’s services has changed radically in recent years with a sharp decline in the numbers and lengths of stay of children treated as hospital in-patients.  More care is now provided in the community, outpatient departments and within rapid access or ambulatory care settings. This shift away from hospital in-patient care is in line with the aims of numerous recent reports on the future of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, such as Transforming Your Care, the Donaldson Report, and most recently the Minister’s vision ‘Delivering Together’, informed by the expert panel lead by Professor Bengoa which focuses on “systems, not structures”.

We want to build on this model of care in future.  We are faced with a number of challenges within our acute paediatric services around workforce, required clinical standards, and delivering services that demonstrate value for money.  The focus on rapid access, short stay care within paediatric services (which we will collectively term “ambulatory care”), has provided an opportunity to review how we deliver our acute paediatric services.  Whilst maintaining our focus on providing high quality care for our young patients, we need to consider the future sustainability of the service and find the most cost-effective way of ensuring that all these priorities are met. 

We are very proud of all the great work being delivered by acute paediatric teams in all three of our hospitals and by our community and primary care teams closer to the homes of our children and families.  We very much want to build on this work alongside identifying the need for change.

We would like to consult with you on how we propose to deliver our hospital paediatric services in the future.  We aim to offer local people excellent health care that can be sustained over time and we look forward to this period of consultation to give us an opportunity to listen to your views.

Marie Roulston

Director Women, Children and Families  

Why we are consulting

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