The Child Injury Prevention and Injury Care Health Integration Team (CIPIC HIT) is a team of nurses, doctors, practitioners and scientists, working together to reduce the number of unintentional injuries to children across the Bristol area. They are also aiming to improve the outcome for patients when injuries do happen, and to reduce the burden that avoidable childhood injuries place on NHS and other support services. More than 14,000 children were treated in emergency departments and minor injury units in Bristol during 2011.
The team is led by HIT Director Julie Mytton, Associate Professor of Child Health at UWE, and focuses on four injury topics: burns and scalds, head injuries, fractures and multiple trauma. For each topic the team will aim to tackle prevention, first response, clinical care and rehabilitation.
Over the last year they have been establishing themselves as a network, including a successful launch event held at the Lifeskills Centre in south Bristol, where local primary school children learn injury prevention skills in simulated settings. They have developed a public and patient involvement strategy which will be implemented throughout their activities. Two of their topic themes, head injuries and burns and scalds, are already well established with programmes of work and several grant applications submitted.
Of major relevance to the HIT is the centralisation of specialist paediatric services across the city in May 2014. Several key services , such as the burns unit and the neuro-rehabilitation team are moving from North Bristol NHS Trust to University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This significant service redesign has a huge impact on the way trauma care and rehabilitation are delivered in Bristol and the wider area. It has proved both a challenge and an opportunity for the HIT; a challenge as clinical leads have had significant additional work demands placed upon them to prepare for the move, but also an opportunity, since colleagues have worked collaboratively to devise care pathways for trauma and the chance to evaluate the impact of the move on patient care. A workshop for rehabilitation therapists facilitated through the HIT mapped the complex pathways of existing provision and helped inform the centralisation process.
The centralisation of services is obviously a key focus at the moment. Other than this, the team is excited about an emerging area of interest, informatics, and the potential to improve service design and commissioning through improved quality, linkage and use of child injury data.
Researchers from Bristol are collaborating on a national study called Keeping Children Safe at Home. This study, led by Nottingham University, aims to find the best advice about preventing accidents in young children at home, and to work with Children's Centres to find suitable ways of passing on this advice to parents.
Finally, they are preparing for their first annual public engagement event on 4 September 2014 at the Watershed to showcase their achievements and raise awareness of child injury prevention and care.