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An innovative project aimed at helping adolescents and young people ‘transfer’ from paediatric to adult services has won the top honour, An Duais Mhór, at this year’s Irish Healthcare Awards.

The National Centre for Paediatric Rheumatology at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, in association with St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, won the Outpatient Initiative of the Year as well as the overall prize for the YARD — the Young Adolescents with Rheumatic Diseases Clinic.Under the scheme, patients attend a transition clinic for a number of years where they are looked after by both paediatric and adult doctors and their teams. Planned transitional care is age appropriate and an active, ongoing and gradual process has been shown to result in better clinical outcomes in patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and arthritis.

The judging panel said Crumlin’s joined-up, multi-disciplinary pathway of care was not only a model of success in its own specialty, but something that could — perhaps — be replicated in other disease areas, in the absence of any national standardised policy.

The pathway also helps parents and carers during the gradual reduction of parental influence by allowing young people to become more independent in their decisions and choices. This year also saw the first transition clinic held at AMNCH, Tallaght Hospital, based on a similar model, and the team are in discussions to roll out further care initiatives to other centres on a national basis.

The Burns Unit received the Best Nursing Project award for its entry, ”Managing Paediatric Skin Graft Donor Sites : A Randomised Controlled Study of Three Wound Care products”.  This project involved a nurse-led randomised controlled trial in a children’s burns service to identify the most effective dressing for children’s skin-graft donor sites.  It was submitted as a joint project with University College Dublin and received support from the National Children’s Research Centre.


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