The National minimum standards for providers of independent healthcare (Department of Health, London 2002) are the standards that hospitals should adhere to when your child with a primary immunodeficiency is in hospital. They cover outpatient visits, visiting your child, provision of food and your child’s education in hospital.
- Children should be seen in a separate outpatient area, or where the hospital does not have a separate outpatient area for children, they are seen promptly.
- There are segregated areas for the reception of children and adolescents into theatre and for recovery, to screen the children and adolescents from the adults.
- The segregated areas should contain all the necessary equipment for the care of children.
- All hospital settings should meet the Standards for the care of critically ill children (Paediatric Intensive Care Society, London 2010).
- There are written procedures for the assessment of pain in children and the provision of appropriate control.
- A parent is to be actively encouraged to stay at all times, with accommodation made available for the adult in the child’s room or close by.
- The child’s family is allowed to visit him/her at any time of the day, except where safeguarding procedures do not allow this.
Education and play:
- When a child is in hospital for more than five days, play is managed and supervised by a qualified hospital play specialist.
- Children are required to receive education when in hospital for more than five days; the local authority has an obligation to meet this need and is contacted if necessary.
Nutrition and feeding whilst in hospital:
There should be age-specific arrangements for meeting regulation 14 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. These require:
- a choice of suitable and nutritious food and hydration, in sufficient quantities to meet service users’ needs
- food and hydration that meet any reasonable requirements arising from a service user’s religious or cultural background; food and hydration includes, where applicable, parental nutrition and the administration of dietary supplements where prescribed
- support, where necessary, for the purposes of enabling patients to eat and drink sufficient amounts for their needs
- that providers must have access to facilities for infant feeding, including facilities to support breastfeeding.