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Waiting times a concern for children, according to survey

According to Joining the Dots survey, a quarter ( 26 per cent) of respondents highlighted waiting times for treatments and procedures as an issue. While most comments were positive, one- third (35 per cent) of comments were negative. Other issues of concern highlighted were building infrastructure (16 per cent), parking (14 per cent) and food (9 per cent). The survey collected the comments of over 3,000 children, young people, parents, on the delivery of hospital services to children and young people in three children’s hospitals.

 The survey was a joint initiative by the Children’s Hospital Group Board and the Ombudsman for Children’s Office with the three children’s hospitals – Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght University Hospital.

 The Children’s Hospital Group is working with the HSE to explore the feasibility of rolling out this initiative in acute paediatric healthcare services across Ireland. It has also established a Quality and Patient Safety Group which will take responsibility for the development of a quality improvement action plan based on the issues identified by the survey results.   

 Welcoming the publication of the results, the Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon said: “Joining the Dots is an innovative initiative because it is the first time in Ireland that children and young people have been asked for their views as service users on a wide range of issues relating to their rights in hospital settings.”

 Dr Muldoon continued: “The results of the Joining the Dots survey provide a welcome indicator of the quality of acute paediatric healthcare services in Dublin: we now have a much clearer picture of what is working well and where there is room for improvement. Joining the Dots is a child-centred quality assurance tool and I warmly welcome that the Children’s Hospital Group is working with the HSE to examine the feasibility of implementing this initiative in acute paediatric services outside Dublin.”

 Commenting on the results of this first survey of acute healthcare services for children Eilísh Hardiman, Chief Executive, Children’s Hospital Group said: “We wish to thank all who made this survey possible, with a very special thank you to those who provided their invaluable insights into our health services. This feedback will become the backbone on which we will shape our design for acute paediatric services delivery.”

The CEOs, Directors of Nursing and clinical staff from the three children’s hospitals also welcomed the results of this initiative and. They said: “We would like to acknowledge how important these results are to all our staff and services. We will work hard to identify and implement the vital improvements that are in our capability to achieve. Thank you to everyone who made this feedback possible.”

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