Introducing a new way of assessing children and young people in our emergency departments

We are introducing a new way of triaging and assessing children and young people in our emergency departments to ensure consistency across all of our sites and provide safe care to all of our patients.

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POPS, the paediatric observation priority score, is a physiological and observational scoring system designed for use by health care professionals of varying clinical experience.

Over the next few months, it will be introduced across our hospital emergency departments, to standardise the way staff identify ill and injured children, to improve standards of care, encourage improved communication both within and outside of the department and assist in the early recognition of clinical deterioration in ill children.

The introduction of this will require us to make changes to include specific documentation, assessment tools designed for the needs of children and young people, and to ensure all staff assess serious illness in a consistent manner.

Health Education England (HEE) fellows are already working with colleagues on the Pilgrim site and across the Trust to address training needs for care of children and young people and the feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

The new full assessment includes assigning children a score so staff will identify and see our most unwell children first.

Over the next coming months, staff will receive training and communication around full assessment and POPS, so they feel confident and skilled to assess and plan care for children and young people at ULHT.

Keep an eye out for more news…