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NHS children's staff lack training

Many health professionals treating children in the NHS do not have the latest training and information on a number of vital issues, a report has warned.

According to the Healthcare Commission, trusts are failing to pass on advances in basic training surrounding paediatric resuscitation, pain management and child protection.

The study found 29% of trusts did not regularly update staff training on child protection.

A staggering 74% of trusts were found to have an insufficient number of staff trained in specialist paediatric life support, while 11% had got worse since the Commission's last report in 2005/06.

And surgeons and anaesthetists were also losing their skills, with 63% of trusts failing to ensure the professionals were doing the recommended number of operations on children to maintain their training.

Only 59% of trusts could boost the basic level of one nurse per shift in emergency and day care wards trained to manage children's pain.

The report's authors wrote: "It is of great concern that the findings from the follow-up review show a consistently low level in the uptake of training in paediatric life support among key staff, while a high proportion of surgeons and anaesthetists carrying out procedures on children still need to have more work experience to properly maintain their specific skills."

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Healthcare Commission

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Whatever happened to the good old paediatric training? The paediatric qualified nurse specialism works and should be encouraged, particularly in health prevention and even in some cases of cure." - V Henry

"Children may be mini adults, but their health issues, appropriate interventions in the community and management in hospital are specific to childhood. Medical and nursing students would benefit if the training had remained specific too. It is regrettable that the training for sick children's nurses and subsequent registration(RSCN) was absorbed into the general nurse training rather than keeping it dedicated to children. Children's hospitals were an excellent training ground for these nurses, doctors and surgeons in their specialist field and also gave the opportunity for generic nurses to gain some experience." - Francesca Elliott, Wiltshire