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Addressing variation in paediatric care

“Variation is a thief. It robs from processes, products and services the qualities that they are intended to have… Unintended variation is stealing healthcare blind today.” Don Berwick


In May 2016 the Children’s Network released its second report on variation in paediatric care within the Oxford AHSN region. This new edition builds on the Network’s first variation report, published in November 2014.

Variation in Paediatric Care in the Oxford AHSN region, May 2016The May 2016 report uses hospital episode statistics to compare hospital admission rates of children by Clinical Commissioning Group for a range of common conditions. For each condition a range of graphics – tables, maps and funnel charts – are used to illustrate where there is scope to reduce unwarranted variation.

The May 2016 report extends both the number of conditions and the depth of data.

The conditions covered – pneumonia, bronchiolitis, asthma, viral wheeze, gastroenteritis, fever/sepsis and neonatal sepsis – are those which commonly result in a hospital admission. The May 2016 report also identifies how many fewer patients would need to be admitted to bring outlying CCGs closer, or equal, to the regional average.

Next steps: improving current practice

The Children’s Network continues to work with commissioners and clinicians from across the Oxford AHSN retion to identify areas of opportunity to reduce variation.

We have set up a Clinical Guideline Group with consultants from each of the five hospitals with child inpatients.  This group shares guidelines, reducing duplication in effort and ensuring that current, evidence-based clinical guidance is uniformly adopted across the region.

The Children’s Network has produced an eLearning module on the management of childhood pneumonia which is available to paediatricians throughout the region and will be accessible to every GP in the country.

We are also delivering classroom training for GPs on common paediatric conditions with the aim of improving clinical management and reducing the need for hospital admission.

We share best practice between Clinical Commissioning Groups, spreading innovative ideas around the region.

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