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Understaffed NHS children's wards put patients at risk

Published on 10/10/2011

Parents concerned about their child’s healthcare should consider investing in family health insurance, as a new study has revealed that  NHS paediatric intensive care units are understaffed across Britain and Ireland.

Researchers at the University of Leeds and University of Leicester revealed that just 13 out of the observed 34 units in the UK are meeting the recommended number of qualified nurses caring for extremely ill children.

Researcher Professor Elizabeth Draper, of the University of Leicester, said: "Qualified nurse staffing levels have improved over time, with more than three-quarters of paediatric intensive care units meeting the old standard.

"But following the revision of these standards in line with the recommendations of the Royal College of Nursing, fewer than 40 per cent of units now achieve the required levels of qualified nursing staff."

Researchers who conducted the study also found that the mortality rate for children suffering from asthma is comparatively high compared to other developed countries, according to the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network.

40% of children admitted to paediatric intensive care needed mechanical help with their breathing, and the death rate of these children was 4.7% in the UK, compared to a rate below 2% in the US and in Australia.

Family health insurance policies will cover the cost of your child’s treatment in a private hospital of your choice.

Use our free searchable hospital database to see which health insurance policy will cover your chosen hospital, or compare health insurance quotes online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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