Traditionally baby resuscitation teaching in hospital has been reserved for families leaving NICU/SCBU, or following attendance for a brief resolved unexplained event. The baby resuscitation course is open to parents/caregivers in North West London, providing education regarding emergency situations and improving parental understanding of healthcare pathways.
Parents/caregivers register via the Imperial Connecting Care for Children website to once-monthly free education sessions, at St Mary’s Hospital, London. Parents may be signposted to the course by health visitors, GPs, children’s centres and medical teams following ED attendances. An integrated healthcare team host the classes, which follow the 4-stage teaching structure directed by the UK Resuscitation Council, led by a NLS instructor. Parents observe the neonatal basic life support and choking algorithms, then split into small groups for individual guided practice. These groups are facilitated by faculty members, including Foundation Doctors through to Senior Registrars and Paediatric Nurses. Parents are then invited to ask questions and are offered additional teaching about general acute paediatric problems including head injuries, fever, febrile convulsions, respiratory illnesses and burns first aid.
The course intends to increase parental confidence around initiating management of acute conditions and to introduce them to the appropriate healthcare pathways in urgency. Therefore, these classes aim to (1) teach parents/caregivers basic life support skills and management of choking and (2) to create an open and informal platform of communication with parents around “common acute paediatric health issues” in the home setting.
Parents and caregivers in North West London are the intended recipients of this course with the overarching aim to improve paediatric outcomes in the region.
The course began in 2016 and is ongoing due to continuous demand, as demonstrated by the waiting list.
Over 350 parents/caregivers have attended the class, with 321 feedback forms collected since 2016. Data from 69 recent forms reveals that 96% of participants would recommend this course to a friend. 90% of attendees report feeling ‘much better equipped’ to manage a child who is choking or who requires CPR (using 52 applicable forms). Key question themes identified include allergies, asthma, colds, fever and general first aid, including injuries and burns.
Sustainability and transferability
Improving parental knowledge about management of paediatric conditions may lead to reduced healthcare costs by avoiding unnecessary healthcare attendances. The course requires a qualified instructor to lead the classes as well as faculty support. Some classes have been held in a community setting, indicating that providing appropriate staff and equipment are available, the course can be delivered in different settings.
The continuous flow of parents/caregivers registering for this course indicates that these education sessions are welcomed by the community. Parents/caregivers feel positively towards the class and the great majority state that these courses increased their ‘readiness’ to manage acute scenarios for their children. We have seen that when parents know what to do in an emergency, it frees them up to start learning how to manage common acute illnesses – a ‘hidden benefit’ of the classes.