Improving Services Toolkit: Improving acute and community services for children and young people who are ill

Any area undertaking a review of health services for children is likely to have the aim of preventing unplanned hospital admissions for children, or reducing the length of time children spend in hospital following admission.

This toolkit is aimed at commissioners and service managers who are aiming to redesign acute services for ill children. It provides evidence and data which can be used to help develop strategies and business cases. It examines emergency hospital admissions for children with common childhood conditions, such as respiratory and gastric conditions. It also looks at how long children spend in hospital, and presents similar information specifically for children who have complex conditions such as congenital heart conditions, cerebral palsy or metabolic disorders.

Find out more about how the toolkit works and how you can use it to understand the situation in your area and help make decisions about where to target resources and services in our guidance on use and interpretation.

Reviewing children and young people's use of secondary care: Information tool
Provides detailed information on the emergency hospital admissions for children with common childhood conditions and time spent in hospital for all children, plus for specific subsets of children with underlying complex conditions. Each of these can be viewed against a range of comparators, and trend information is also shown.

Charts and maps
View the indicators on a map of England, or on a correlation chart allowing you to plot factors and activity indicators against one another, to explore the relationship, if any, between the two.

Evidence and resources
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) states that "every child and young person has the right to expect care to be provided at home unless they need to be admitted to a hospital environment". The Department of Health has identified that comprehensive community children’s nursing services can improve the experience of ill children, and can reduce their use of acute services.

The following documents and guidance are useful to anyone looking to implement or redesign children's community nursing services in their area.

The RCN Children and Young People: Continuing and Community Care Forum supports members in delivering nursing care for children and young people with complex and continuing care needs that is seamless across all settings promoting integration of care through multi-professional and multiagency networks and inclusion in family life and society.

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