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Paediatric Patient Safety Program

There are almost 1.7 million children and young people aged 0-17 years who live in NSW, comprising 22 per cent of the state’s population. During 2013/14 there were 2.5 million visits made to NSW public hospital emergency departments. Children and young people accounted for 25 per cent of these visits (Healthcare performance across the lifespan, Volume 2, Bureau of Health Information). Approximately 1 in 10 clinical incidents reported in the Incident Information Management System (IIMS) involved children and young people under 20 years of age.

The health care needs of children can be very different to those from adults. Normal ranges for standard observations vary greatly between different age groups, the dose of medications can vary by factors of ten or more and there can be a greater concern and emotional involvement from parents and caregivers.

The Paediatric Patient Safety Program works across a range of areas to improve the quality and safety of health care for children and young people in NSW. It:

  • Provides a centralised contact point for clinicians and NSW Health organisations to discuss children’s health care quality and safety issues
  • Ensures paediatric issues are addressed at a State level and appropriately incorporated into CEC programs
  • Works in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health and all pillars to provide a voice for paediatric quality and safety issues.
  • Collaborates with Children’s Healthcare Australasia on a number of quality and safety initiatives.

In collaboration with the NSW Chief Paediatrician, the program has established two State level committees - the Paediatric Safety and Quality Network Committee, and the Children and Young People Root Cause Analysis Review Sub-Committee. These committees bring together expert clinicians to discuss key paediatric quality and safety issues in NSW.

Paediatric Safety and Quality Network Committee

This committee addresses systemic paediatric safety and quality issues in the NSW health system. It brings together experts to discuss emerging issues in Paediatric Quality and Safety and work on joint solutions. It is co-chaired by the CEC Paediatric Patient Safety Program Director and the NSW Chief Paediatrician.

Children and Young People Root Cause Analysis Review Sub-Committee

This committee is a sub-committee of the Clinical Risk Action Group. Its purpose is to analyse trends and themes from RCA reports relating to children and young people under 16 years of age. This process enables emerging themes, risks and trends to be identified for further investigation and action leading to state-wide solutions for children and young people. It is co-chaired by the CEC Paediatric Patient Safety Program Director and the NSW Chief Paediatrician.