What we are doing - children and young people

Physical and emotional support for families

Primary prevention and wellness

We are focussing efforts on things that will help to minimise the need for children and young people to be admitted to hospital through illness or mental health crisis. We aim to get better at supporting families to keep children and young people physically and mentally well, and out of hospital in the first place. Offering things like advice on healthy lifestyles and how to access services for physical and emotional support at an earlier stage. This work is being taken forward as part of our community based care project.

U18s mental health

Children and young people access health services in different ways so we aim to ensure that no matter which service they visit, the NHS can cater for their mental health needs. We also think that there is a role for other agencies in contact with children and young people, such as schools, to support them to maintain good mental and physical health. We aim to support children in crisis to stay out of hospital inpatient services, which separate them from their families and day-to-day sources of support.

Joined-up health and care services

Children’s integrated community teams

We are developing integrated community teams to support children and their families closer to home. These teams include health professionals covering a range of services, who will all work closely together to create a seamless service for children, young people and their families, whatever their physical and emotional health needs. This means a multi-disciplinary approach to managing long-term conditions, focussing on approaches that will minimise admissions to hospital and avoid lengthy stays. We think this will help to reduce hospital admissions in every borough.

London Quality Standards

We are supporting children’s services at hospitals in south east London to meet the London Quality Standards. These are a set of quality and safety standards that have been agreed by the NHS in London. They include things like a minimum number of specialist consultants available on inpatient wards, to ensure high quality, safe care.

Easy access to the right services first time

We aim to make it as easy as possible for people to get the support they need as quickly and easily as possible. This means joining the different services available in the community together so that no matter where a young person or their family goes for help, they will be referred immediately to appropriate health, social care or education services, depending on their needs. This will help to avoid patients being passed from one place to another, which sometimes happens now.

Shorter inpatient stays and back to home/school as soon as possible

Short stay paediatric assessment units

Short stay paediatric assessment units will work closely with community services to support children and young people to get back to home/school, following admission to hospital. Our main aim is to keep children out of hospital if that is possible, by supporting them to stay well. For those who do need hospital care, we aim to reduce the length of time patients have to stay in hospital and support them to get back to a normal life at home as soon as possible.

Inreach and outreach services

We aim to care for children closer to home and support them there so they, as far as possible, can continue with their usual lives. This approach means teams of doctors and nurses seeing children in their own homes and in a variety of community settings, including schools, nurseries and respite care facilities. We also aim to enable hospital paediatric doctors and nurses to visit their colleagues in GP surgeries and other community settings to develop the knowledge and expertise in primary care.

Straightforward transition into adult services for young people with long-term conditions

We aim for young people to transition from children’s services into adult services as seamlessly as possible. Adult services don’t always reflect the services a young person may be used to and the change can be difficult. Successful transition needs careful planning and cooperation between the young person, adolescent services and adult services.