Families of Children and Young People in Coventry and Warwickshire benefit from new ‘Better at Home’ Training Suite

Posted on the 11th September 2019

An innovative training resource for families of children and young people in Coventry and Warwickshire with long term and complex medical needs, is officially launched by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and national children’s charity, WellChild on 12 September 2019

Known as the ‘WellChild Better at Home Training Suite’ the facility is part of the Coventry NHS Children and Young People’s (CYP) Complex Physical Health Service. It supplements existing specialist nursing care and respite for these children and young people 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 training to meet the health needs of their children, particularly once they are discharged from hospital. The Coventry service has always offered this provision to families, but undertaking 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.”

This facility at Coventry is the second of a number of ‘Better at Home’ suites which WellChild is establishing around the country thanks to support from the October Club. 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.

Louise Bridges, Service Manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “The idea of a clinical training room had been an aspiration for our service for some time and several attempts had been made to find a suitable venue. 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.

“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."

Louise Bridges, Service Manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust

“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.”

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