The experiences of parents using the Children’s Emergency Department at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Brighton and Hove carried out a review at the Children's emergency department (CED) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RACH) in March 2018 on a Sunday morning and a Monday night. The main reason for our visit was concern over potentially growing numbers of people attending CED. Healthwatch interviewed 39 people. They found over half sought help first from another service, but still ended up coming to CED, 86% of these were referred. All parents who sought help from the NHS 111 service were referred to CED. Parent knowledge regarding some services was very low. One third of parents provided negative comments on alternative services. This report provided the following recommendations: clear messages to parents about services that can be used as an alternative to CED, in particular pharmacies and the NHS Choices website, parent-focused communication, supportive and clear about which conditions can be dealt with most effectively by a range of NHS services including CED, improve signage both inside the main hospital and outside, indicating directions to the CED.

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General details

Report title 
The experiences of parents using the Children’s Emergency Department at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Brighton And Hove
Date of publication 
Sunday, 18 March, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Holistic support
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.