Sheffield Children’s new dental scheme reaches finals of national safety awards

Exterior of Sheffield Childrens Hospital
31 May 2019

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is a finalist in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards.

The Trust is on the shortlist for its paediatric fast-track dental scheme in the category Patient Safety Innovation of the Year. The Sheffield Children’s scheme gives children and young people who are anxious about dental treatment the opportunity to have intravenous sedation (IV) for dental procedures instead of general or local anaesthetic.

This means that less children and young people need to have general anaesthetic for dental procedures, which is both safer and better for the patient. Children having IV sedation generally they spend less time in the hospital and get to go home quicker. On average patient recovery time is 33 minutes, significantly faster than for patients who have had general anaesthetic.

Overall this scheme reduces anxiety around the procedure, lowers the risk for the patient in comparison to other types of sedation and allows them to return back to their normal dentist for regular care. IV sedation means the patient can also have their parent or carer with them while they’re having the procedure done, which further reduces anxiety and worry around the treatment – for both the child and the parent.

Feedback has been very positive about the scheme. Comments from patients and families include:

·         “I didn’t remember having the injection in my mouth and this was the thing I was worried about.”

·         “Excellent service, very caring staff.”

·         “We had a really positive experience. My daughter was very anxious and all the staff were very helpful and we didn’t feel like a nuisance, so thank you.”

·         “Should be done more this way. Very happy. Thank you.”

·         “Loved the fact your child can choose their own music and the sparkly sunglasses! Amazing staff. Thank you!”

John Somers, Chief Executive at Sheffield Children’s, said: “We’re very proud of the team for developing this service, which is better for patients in so many ways. We have some excellent initiatives to improve both safety and the patient experience, and I’m delighted this one has been recognised nationally.

“The dental fast-track scheme has also been a great example of how we work in partnership, as developing the scheme has involved several of our departments and input from partner organisations. Together we can make procedures like this easier and safer for children and young people.”

The team will find out if they have been successful on the 2 July.

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