CHILD HEALTH AWARD Sponsored by TaxrefundCo

Paul Watson designed an inhaler device

To help the children

spacer devices and has performed as well as or better than them,’ Paul told the judges. ‘It could generate significant savings for the NHS and result in fewer emergency admissions because children are more likely to use it.’ TIM GEORGE

Advantage Healthcare agency nurse Paul Watson developed a pocket-sized, collapsible spacer device that children can use with standard asthma metered dose inhalers. Spacers are generally large, unwieldy gadgets that children can be reluctant to carry around and use. To counter the problem and to encourage schoolchildren to use their inhalers during the day, Paul designed a compact and portable spacer device called the Pocketflow. With the help of the local NHS innovation hub, he took his idea from initial concept through to testing and now feels he has a marketable product. ‘It has been tested alongside current market leaders in asthma


almost £900 million annually and the disease is responsible for around 12.7 million lost working days every year. Although the Pocketflow has not yet been used by any patient group, a small-scale study is under way in a secondary school reviewing the importance of good education for asthmatic children.

The incidence of asthma and other allergies has almost trebled in the past 20 years, with one in three people predicted to develop an allergy at some time in their life. Asthma services cost the NHS

Team tackled inconsistency in standards

Children with complex needs have many carers supporting them: nurses, family members, school staff and care assistants. The South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust children’s community nursing team, led by nurse consultant David Widdas, could see this led to inconsistencies in standards. Families reported a shortage of well-trained staff, and some parents were even assessing the trustworthiness of home carers themselves. ‘Variation in standards can be confusing and frightening for parents and children,’ said David. ‘And nurses needed assurance they could delegate to carers safely.’ With Department of Health funding and supported by their own


Tailored e-learning

needs of each child. Learners’ knowledge is assessed with an online workbook, followed by a practical assessment undertaken by the responsible nurse. ‘Now the child receives the same standard of care regardless of who cares for them, giving parents and nurses peace of mind,’ David said.


trust and Warwickshire Partnership Trust together with clinical educators, the team developed an online learning tool for carers with modules tailored to the individual

Team leader David Widdas and community nurse Liz Herd, left, and Jo Holder

‘There is nothing our kids cannot do – attend school clubs, Cub and Brownie camps and school trips. This normality has a tremendous effect on their psychological wellbeing.’ An evaluation found carers’ ratings of their knowledge improved significantly, as did families’ confidence in them.

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To help the children.

Advantage Healthcare agency nurse Paul Watson developed a pocket-sized, collapsible spacer device that children can use with standard asthma metered d...
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