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Integrated models of care

Cambridge Children’s will be a world first hospital that cares for children’s physical and mental health together, in a way no-one ever has before.

A subversive image showing a child on her bed at home overlaid with the words Hospital Bed

The hospital will act as a hub, providing outreach services across the region, while maximising community based care to help treat more children and young people closer to their own homes.

To achieve this we’ll work closely with our regional partners to design simplified and efficient healthcare services.

Our goal will be to develop a joined-up model of care within Cambridge Children’s that fully integrates physical and mental health, and combines with research into prevention and early diagnosis of diseases to provide the very best care for children and young people.

A purposefully designed building

Our new hospital will be co-designed with the help of young people, families and healthcare professionals.

Our aim is to design our wards and many other areas of the hospital as flexibly as possible, so that children with mental health conditions can be cared for alongside children with physical health condition, where this is safe and appropriate to do so.

Wherever possible facilities will be jointly integrated, recognising the fact that many children and young people with mental health conditions also have a physical health condition, and vice versa.

This will enable our staff to provide better and safer, age appropriate care in high quality, fit for purpose facilities that meet the needs of children, young people and families.

A nurse caring for a child in a hospital bed

Dual trained staff

Our staff will be dual trained, given the skills and support they need to care for each young person who enters the hospital — whether for a mental or physical condition. This holistic approach means that we’ll be able to deliver informed physiological and psychological bedside care and gives us greater opportunity to diagnose behavioural or cognitive issues earlier.

Conclusions which can increase a child’s wellbeing and dramatically improve their recovery.

A whole new way of working

As part of our goal to integrate mental and physical health we’ll develop new ways of operationalising and delivering care, such as:

  • Joint clinics and ward rounds
  • Joint Grand Rounds and Schwartz Rounds
  • An integrated clinical, management and reporting structure which drives and rewards integration
  • Enhanced links with community services, social care and education

We’ll also continuously involve children, young people and their families in the design and refinement of clinical services and pathways.

Strengthening links with primary care

Working closely with our colleagues in primary care is an integral part of the Cambridge Children’s strategy. We have already started to work closely with local GP practice, Granta Medial Practices, which is developing the primary care home model for its 40,000 patients.

Cambridge University Hospitals and Granta Medical Practices share electronic patient records and are proactively exploring the potential for joint investment in community services, such as diagnostics.

By working together we hope to develop innovative integrated primary and secondary care pathways for children and young people, regionally and nationally.

A boy using technology in a hospital bed

Utilising telemedicine

Initiatives such as telemedicine will enable us to deliver more effective and accessible paediatric expertise, while supporting optimisation of inpatient facilities and pathways across the east of England.

By linking medial data will social care and educational data we’ll also be able to adopt a holistic and personal approach to treatment as well as supporting early intervention and prevention. Find our more about technology

A visionary approach to research

A ground-breaking research institute within the heart of the hospital will embed genomic and psychological research excellence, bringing the laboratory bench to the bedside to ensure that young people benefit from the latest research understanding.

We aim to pioneer a visionary approach to the early detection and early diagnosis of long-term health conditions in children and young people with a facility designed to promote stimulated interaction between scientists, clinicians and industry from Cambridge and around the world to improve child health outcomes.

This will provide unprecedented opportunities to identify early determinants of mental and physical illness including, in some cases, common origins.

Mind and body research will be embedded in clinical services and will be a cross-recurring theme across the overarching research program. Our children and young people will not only have the opportunity to participate in the studies, they will also directly benefit from the results.