Closing the gap in paediatric safety evaluation

Redirecting the clinical gaze to reduce harm and drive cultural change through better communication in children’s wards

  • Evaluation of the Closing the gap in paediatric safety project
  • Sets out to answer: under what circumstances, by what means and in what ways does increasing situational awareness lead to improved safety, experience and other elements of quality for children under inpatient care?
  • Will be carried out by a team from the Anna Freud Centre led by Dr Jessica Deighton.

The project aims to improve outcomes for the acutely unwell child through the introduction of situational awareness in paediatric wards, with an emphasis on ‘huddles’ as a proven intervention to close the current gap in patient safety. 

A multi-level, mixed methods, Realistic Evaluation framework will be used to consider input, contexts, mechanism and outcomes in relation to implementation of situational awareness in Specialist Children’s Hospitals and District General Hospitals in the UK by considering the following elements:

•    Input: Situational awareness (including ‘huddles’)
•    Mechanisms
•    Context
•    Outcomes

In the 6 month project set up phase, the evaluation team will discuss with each of the 10 participating hospitals which patient harm data they routinely collect i.e. deaths, transfers to ICU, incidents of infection etc. In each site, children and families reports of their experience of care and health related quality of life will be collected as part of their routine outcome measurement process. 

The proposed evaluation method has been selected because it allows for examination of the underlying theory of change and close working between the implementation and evaluation team allows mutual learning and development.

Contact details

For more information about this project, please email the Research team at the Health Foundation, and Dr Jessica Deighton, Deputy Director and Research Lead for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, UCL.

Further reading

Improvement project

S.A.F.E: Situation Awareness For Everyone

This project aimed to improve outcomes for acutely unwell children on paediatric wards, and reduce variation in service deliv...

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