In 2023, we announced the Safer Care for Kids project, which aims to implement 3 recommendations:
- Mandate the use of Victorian Children’s Tool for Observation and Response (ViCTOR) by all clinicians wherever children and young people have vital signs recorded
- Implement a system of virtual paediatric emergency consultation, with the appropriate infrastructure including training and quality assurance, that has video links to clinicians with paediatric expertise, and to retrieval services
- Design a centralised parental and carer escalation process.
The Safer Care for Kids project will be completed over 4 phases.
We are on track to complete phase 2 of the project by February 2024.
During phase 1 and 2 of the project we:
- established a lived experience advisory group who have been integral to the design of our family-led escalation system
- delivered 2 clinical advisory groups and 1 consumer advisory group, consulting with over 45 clinicians and 15 consumers
- surveyed over 120 clinicians to understand the barriers and enablers to the recognition of deterioration of health and the response and escalation of this in health services
- engaged with subject matter experts from:
- paediatric medicine
- emergency department medicine
- regional and rural health services
- metropolitan health services
- mental health
- Ambulance Victoria
- consulted with New South Wales Clinical Excellence Commission (NSW CEC) and Clinical Excellence Queensland (CEQ) to understand similar work being completed in the paediatric safety space and explored opportunities to collaborate and share learnings
- consulted with health services and government departments to understand work that is currently occurring and has previously occurred to share and understand learnings
- brought our lived-experience advisory group and clinical advisory groups together to collaborate and finalise the principles for an escalation process and updates to the ViCTOR tool.
Key project updates
1. Mandate ViCTOR
- Inclusion of the mandatory use of ViCTOR charts in the accountability agreements between health services and the Minister for Health for the 2023/2024 period. Read more about Statements of Priorities.
- Developing an audit tool to measure the appropriate use of ViCTOR in health services.
- Redesigning ViCTOR charts to better recognise the importance of parental/carer concerns.
2. Virtual paediatric emergency consultation
- Exploring opportunities to expand existing paediatric telehealth consultation services to ensure all children have access to expert paediatric care and advice when they visit a Victorian hospital.
3. Parent and carer escalation process
- Design of key principles and process for escalation system complete.
- Exploring opportunities for virtual teleconferencing platform to host the system for parental/carer escalation.
The Safer Care for Kids team is preparing the final reports and plans for implementation, which are due to be complete by February 2024. Following this, project activities are due to move into phase 3 in early 2024.