Families of youngsters undergoing surgery have been issued with so-called Parent Pagers by the Children’s Post-Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU).
The pagers buzz when the child is coming round after their operation so that parents can be with them as soon as possible, and it means health workers don’t have to rely on mobile phones to communicate with families as reception is patchy at Leeds General Infirmary.
Gogs Byrn, charge nurse on the unit, developed the idea as part of a Mary Seacole NHS leadership programme.
He said: “Parent Pagers offer parents or carers a sense of reassurance and freedom of movement – to go to the hospital cafe or have a comfort break – whilst their child is in surgery.
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“Using mobile phones can be problematic as the signals can be unreliable in the children’s hospital and some parents may not have them, so the pagers are a better way of contact parents once their child has woken up from their operation.
“The pagers also help guarantee that parents are close by when needed meaning they can be quickly reunited with their child in recovery, providing reassurance for both.
“So far the feedback has been really positive, with parents saying how much of a benefit the pagers are and how easy they are to use, as they work in a similar way to the pagers commonly used in restaurants.”
Funding for the project was provided by the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal, with PACU nurses contributing to the fundraising by selling pies to their co-workers.
It is hoped the innovative system will be rolled out to the parents of all children undergoing surgery in the next few months.efds