My Topol fellowship problem / project:

The problem which I am aiming to explore is the current lack of an electronic administration system or database in place within our newly developing Children’s Outreach Service. The need for such a system is clear, in order for us to safely manage personal and clinical data; develop individualised service user care plans and effectively document care delivery within the service. Currently within the wider Children and Young Adult’s service we continue using paper notes to collect a large amount of our patient information, care plans and daily documentation. It is recognised that identifying and moving towards an effective electronic system could be necessary in order to better our service delivery. We understand that the use of paper records can come with disadvantages, such as a lack of backups and limited security, lack of clear audit trails and more likelihood of errors occurring, as well as being more time consuming. The aim is to create a largely paper free service for the new outreach team if possible, and we feel that it may be the ideal opportunity to trial a digital change. It is known that electronic health records can enable more accurate, up to date and complete information; as well as allowing collaboration and secure information sharing between professionals and services. This would allow us to offer data protection and safeguarding to both staff and service users, as well as leading to more coordinated and integrated care delivery. We are already aware of some potential electronic systems available and I would plan to use protected time to carry out further necessary research as to which may be the most effective and appropriate to fit with our service. We also plan to liaise with other similar services or teams within the UK, in order to gain more information about their models of care and digital methods which we may be able to build upon.

After qualifying as a paediatric nurse almost 10 years ago, I worked on an acute medical ward at the Great North Children’s Hospital. I then moved to St Oswald’s Hospice, where I have worked for the past 6 years, in both Staff Nurse and Junior Sister roles. The short break provision allows us to deliver high quality specialist care to children and young adults living with complex health needs and life limiting conditions. I have recently moved into an exciting role as Senior Sister in our newly developing Children’s Outreach Service, which will allow us to offer much-needed care and support to families in the community.