Background Children with complex medical needs attend the Child Development Center for various reasons and to see different health professionals. This needs lot of commitment from parents and carers and also children have to travel multiple times. They often have to miss school which is vital for their education along with social, cognitive and emotional well-being.
Objectives Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) have been shown to be an effective tool to facilitate collaboration between professionals and hence improve care outcomes.
Community Paediatric services in Bedford started a pilot project of MDT clinics where a child will see a community paediatrician, physiotherapist, speech and language therapist and dietitian in a single visit. We requested feedback from parents about usefulness of these clinics
Methods Children with significant complex needs who require service from all 4 disciplines (paediatrician, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist and dietitian) were offered appointments in MDT clinics.
We organised our MDT clinics once every 3 months. We held 4 clinics in between May 2019 to March 2019 (we had to stop because of the COVID-19 Pandemic but we are planning to resume from December 2020). Each child had a 45 minute appointment with Speech and language therapist followed by a 60 minute combined appointment with community paediatrician, dietitian and physiotherapist together. Parents were requested to complete a paper feedback form after the clinic.
Results We received 9 feedbacks in total and all of them (100%) found these clinics very useful.
Conclusions MDT clinics are held on a regular basis in tertiary centers but they are not so easy to coordinate in secondary care/community settings due to cross organisational working. Our model of multidisciplinary clinics at Bedford Child Development Center was highly appreciated by parents and is more convenient to children who have complex needs. It reduces the need for multiple clinic visits and journey to different clinic/hospitals. For healthcare professionals it brings all relevant people into one clinic which enables faster decision making and encourages discussion amongst professionals. It also reduced the need for internal referrals.
Following parent feedback, we will consider taking this MDT clinic to special needs school sites in future to make it more convenient for children with complex needs and enable the specialist nursing service to join the MDT too.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.