28th May, 2020

Parents of children with complex need get crucial help with new Coventry NHS training suite

A NEW NHS training suite aims to help Coventry and Warwickshire parents of children with complex needs to develop skills needed at home.

Known as the ‘WellChild Better at Home Training Suite’, it has been officially launched by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and national children’s charity, WellChild.

It is part of the Coventry NHS Children and Young People’s (CYP) Complex Physical Health Service.

It says the new facility supplements existing specialist nursing care and respite by providing a “safe place for families to learn and practice many of the skills they will need to care for their child at home – from managing their ventilation, to feeding them via a tube”.

National children’s charity, WellChild highlighted the difficulties families face trying to access such training once they are discharged from hospital. Training in the home is not always appropriate.

Tara Parker, WellChild’s director of programmes, said: “We believe that the growing population of children surviving with complex needs and requiring technology-assisted care should be cared for at home so that families can be together whenever possible.

“This training suite affords families the opportunity to learn and practice key skills for providing essential medical and nursing care to their children in a safe and supportive place which simulates the look and feels like home. Our target is for all families with similar needs to have access to a WellChild Better at Home suite.”

Louise Bridges, Service Manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “The training suite includes a simulation of a child’s bedroom, recreating the reality of caring for a child in their own home. A more formal classroom area is also set up. Our aspiration now is to be able to extend the resource offering to parent and carer support groups.”

“…When The Birches Respite Unit was integrated with the Children’s Continuing Care Team a suitable venue in the form of a mobile home on the Birches site was identified, making the aspiration possible.

“Part of the grant from WellChild was allocated to the provision of new training equipment, including the latest technology in paediatric manikins. One of the most frequent requests from families for training is for basic life support (BLS). The BLS manikins purchased link to a phone app that measures the depth and rate of chest compressions being given and is more accurate in assessing the performance of the learner.

“They also provide families of the most complex children, training to simulate ventilation, tracheostomy care and resuscitation via tracheostomy.”

Funding from the following trusts have contributed to making the suite at Coventry possible: Eveson Charitable Trust; 29th May 1961 CT; The Rowlands Trust; Michael Marsh CT and the BHSF Medical Charity.

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