Meet the team: UK Safety Netting Collaborative
Professor of Nursing
Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth
- England - East Midlands
- England - South West
GP Advisor West of England AHSN
West of England Academic Health Science Network
- England - West
Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine and Honorary Associate Professor
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
- England - East Midlands
- Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, University College London
- Nic Blackwell, OCB Media
- Natasha Bayes, University of Northampton
- Laura Mullins, Parent panel lead
- Tracey Turner, Parent panel lead
- Sue Palmer-Hill, Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust
- Linda Partridge, WellChild charity
More children die of preventable causes, such as meningitis and sepsis, in the UK than elsewhere in Europe. Yet children under 5 years constitute one of the largest proportions of the workload in first contact services such as primary care, urgent/emergency care. Many of these consultations are for non-urgent illness. Parents and professionals find it difficult to identify early signs of serious illness. Safety netting has been repeatedly recommended and evidence from our research programme shows that video-based safety netting tools are needed. Spottingthesickchild.com is available for professionals; this resource, developed by the UK Safety Netting Collaborative of parents and professionals, will provide a spotting the sick child resource for families. This professionally validated standardised safety netting information will help all families spot signs of serious acute childhood illness, including, but not limited to, sepsis. The resource will be useful during consultations to help professionals explain what symptoms to look for, independently at home to help parents decide when to seek help and when negotiating access to health services. This project builds on NICE (2013) fever and sepsis guidelines – our team includes Professor Monica Lakhanpaul who led the development of the first fever guideline and www.spottingthesickchild.com
We have evidenced parent and professional reviewed content for an information resource, with embedded explanatory video showing real symptoms, focussing on the six most common presenting symptoms of childhood illness (temperature, breathing difficulty, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhoea and rash). See the video for an example of a video clip. This content has been converted into a rudimentary webapp, with the help of computer science students, and now needs to be further developed to make it ready to use. The ‘app’ uses ‘traffic lights’ colours to quickly indicate severity of symptoms, includes information on assessment and management of symptoms, an account option for each child, diary space for parents to record events, links to information on services. Without an account parents choose the age of the child and all of the information is then tailored to the age of that child.
The development process will involve:
· Project setup to include environment creation, package installation, PhoneGap configuration
· Templating and styling such as page templates, icons, splash screens, wireframing and page layouts/navigation structuring
· Creation of navigation logic
· Application build and content input
· Testing on iOS and Android devices
· Two feedback cycles and one final review
· Deployment to Apple Store and Google Play, certificate generation
At each stage the content and format will be reviewed by parents and professionals. We have an existing parent panel composed of parents with children under 5 years of age who have helped us to develop the content so far. We also have a panel of health professionals who are interested in helping to review the tool as it develops.
The benefit for children, families and health professionals
Our vision is for a safety netting resource, showing real symptoms, which is easily accessible for free by parents and professionals across multiple platforms, in all first contact settings such as urgent and emergency care, General Practice, Out-of-hours, ambulance services and independently by parents. Developing this intervention through collaborative co-design, with parents and professionals, means that it is designed to meet their needs: consistent information, professionally validated, presented in a format and language they can understand.
Providing parents with this information will empower them to care for their child safely at home, provide information without needing an appointment and enable them seek help at the right time. The intervention has the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality through increasing recognition of symptoms and access to health care for seriously ill children.
The benefit for the Q community
We will be able to share our experiences of co-developing interventions for the public using the deliberate involvement of both services users and health professionals. Although we work with parents of young children, the methodological learning will be applicable to any situation where interventions are being developed for carers and vulnerable service users and more generally with adult service users.
How you can contribute
- Information and ideas to inform integration of our intervention into service systems such as NHS 111 and ambulance services.
- Suggestions for systems to use to link parents use of our ‘app’ with health service use.
- Ideas about the best way to deliver the ‘app’ to parents.
- We would like to ask Q members to join our health professional review panel.