Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity have launched a new out-of-hours service at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow to help families who arrive at the Emergency Department in crisis. The charity were awarded a grant of over £104,000 from the STV Children’s Appeal to fund the important pilot.
The hospital’s emergency department is treating more children than ever before, with a disproportionate number coming from the most deprived areas of Glasgow. As they are most likely to arrive in the evenings, overnight or at weekends, existing support services are unavailable for these children and their families.
The new service will see Family Support Navigators work from ED during these critical time periods, bolstering the support in place during office hours. The Navigators will offer confidential and immediate practical and financial support, acting as a bridge to the Family Support and Information Service and creating a vital connection that will help families beyond their current crisis.
Kirsten Watson, CEO, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity explained the importance of the new service:
“The Emergency Department provides exceptional care for children from across Scotland, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the Family Support and Information Service is a lifeline for families, many who attend out-of-hours are passing through ED without the opportunity to access the vital support which is currently only available during the working week.
“We are incredibly grateful to the STV Children’s Appeal for their grant of more than £104,000, which will fund this important pilot and help families at their most vulnerable moments, regardless of when their emergency occurs.”
Gillian Harvey, Health Improvement Lead (Acute) at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, acknowledges the financial strain that a hospital visit can place on vulnerable families:
“Many of the families we see on a daily basis at the RHC Family Support service are experiencing money worries that are often exacerbated when a child is admitted or presents at hospital. The Family Navigator project is an exciting opportunity for our services to work in close partnership with the Navigators, extending the holistic practical support we can now provide to families out of hours at our Emergency Departments.
“For families that are then admitted, the project also offers an opportunity to raise awareness and increases access to the Scottish Government’s ‘Young Patients Family Fund’ providing hospital expenses to cover travel and food costs.”
The project will be delivered within the structure of the established Navigator Service, operated by Medics Against Violence. Professor Christine Goodall, Director and founder of Medics Against Violence, said:
“We are delighted to be able to expand our Navigator service at the Royal Hospital for Children with the support of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity and to work with the Family Information and Support Service to offer vital support to vulnerable families out of hours.
“We strive with our existing Youth Navigator and Navigator services within the RHC to provide support where needed to the whole family. This new development will allow us to reach more vulnerable families at a time of crisis and link them to financial support and valuable services both within the hospital and the wider community.”