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Paediatric specialists take up care of littlest patients

Published:  30 August 2022

A dedicated team of paediatric emergency specialists are heading up Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric emergency department space, bringing a new level of care to North Queensland kids.

North Queensland children who visit Townsville University Hospital (TUH) for emergency care are now treated in a dedicated paediatric space by team of paediatric emergency specialists, alongside their general emergency colleagues, improving the hospital experience for children and their families.

Senior paediatric emergency specialist Dr Olwen Gilbert said access to the paediatric space was via the normal Townsville University Hospital emergency department entrance.

‘‘There is no change to where parents bring their children but once triaged and admitted, a child will be taken to an age appropriate environment,’’ Dr Gilbert said.

“Having a dedicated paediatric area is one piece of the puzzle in enhancing patient care for children and their families and I’m pleased to be part of the newly established team of paediatric emergency specialists. 

“What is great about this team is that we tend to see things in a unique and paediatric-centric way which allows us to make the space and procedures more child friendly. 

“We also have the paediatric ward just down the corridor and the paediatric intensive care unit upstairs which means we can collaborate, learn and grow together to improve the care of children at TUH.”

Director of emergency Dr Deanne Crosbie said having a fully operational paediatric area was great for both children and adults who found themselves in the waiting room.

“Having distinct spaces for our emergency patients is really beneficial, especially during what is likely a stressful time for everyone involved,” Dr Crosbie said.

“Being able to treat children in a dedicated child-focussed area, away from the other busy emergency areas, is much more supportive of child and parent needs.”

“We’re thrilled to have our paediatric emergency specialists on board and treating our smallest patients requiring emergency care.”

Paediatric emergency specialist Dr Emma Whyte said the next goal for the space was to increase the team’s capacity through recruitment.

"For us as a team this is just the beginning, and we look forward to making future plans for more opportunities to tailor our delivery of paediatric emergency care," she said.

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