Objectives: To determine whether a partnership between a tertiary paediatric hospital and a hospital with a mixed population of children and adults can improve emergency care for children. To describe the process of creating and maintaining such a partnership.
Methods: A partnership was created and various strategies employed to improve emergency paediatric care. This was evaluated by examination of demographic data, clinical audit, patient satisfaction surveys and staff satisfaction surveys.
Results: Paediatric attendances increased by 12% (P = 0.001), with a 33% increase in children under the age of 5 years (P = 0.001). Despite this there was a reduction of 6% in inpatient paediatric bed usage. Staff decision making and documentation improved during paediatric patient care, and parent and staff satisfaction with care of children improved.
Conclusions: This initiative was successful in improving local paediatric facilities and patient care and is a new and innovative means of improving paediatric emergency care.