Improving children's services
Back again! I'm here to give some of my personal views on why we really need to improve children's health services.
Don’t get me wrong, the work of paediatricians is amazing and the care I have received is second-to-none. In fact, I must actually question whether I would be typing here today if it wasn't for them. However, within the whole system I do think there is need for improvements. I speak from experience, I've done the hospital-hopping (having had 21 admissions in the last 12 months - that's a record for me!), and so I do like to think of myself as a bit of a pro. Being in adult services makes me miss my 'paeds days', as I like to call them!
If you were to ask me: 'Ellie, if you could give all these people reading your blog one message...what would it be?', my answer would be simple. Children are not mini-adults. This is exactly what we need to remember when assessing children's health services. Please don't leave us as an after-thought!
Children need to be treated in a very different way to adults. Imagine how scary an adult ward would be to a child: visiting restricted to about two hours a day, being left to sit and occupy yourself for the whole day and, this is a shocker, often paying for your own TV! You wouldn’t expect a child or young person to have to deal with that and I believe we have it right in that respect: open visiting, activities with play specialists and free TVs.
So where do we still need work? Communication. Often we are not spoken to or interacted with in an age-appropriate way; teenagers can feel patronized if spoken to like babies, and infants can get confused if they’re spoken to like adults.
So please remember to communicate with us, as well as our parents, age-appropriately. After all, we are not mini-adults.