New 2021 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines aim to optimise the healthcare experiences of these populations and ultimately improve their health outcomes and wellbeing.
Children’s and young people’s views are too often missing from discussions about their care. This new guidance is particularly important because children and young people are less likely to report their experiences of in-patient care than adults.
These experiences include feeling safe, requiring pain relief, privacy, and being involved in decisions.
The explicit recommendation is to systematically monitor and report the extent to which healthcare experience is family-centred—allowing children and young people who are in-patients to interact with family, siblings, and friends in as normal a way as possible.
This recommendation requires adequate age-appropriate spaces for play and recreation, which will be challenging for some healthcare settings. This crucial aspect of health care is often overlooked, even though it is especially important for babies, children, and young people who have lengthy or repeated hospital admissions.
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