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During 2016–2017, National Health Service (NHS) England recorded 5.8 million attendances at accident and emergency departments (A&E) out of which 24% were deemed ‘avoidable’.1 Avoidable attendances are defined as an attendance at A&E resulting in care which could have been provided by a general practitioner (GP) or managed through self-care at home. ‘How to help your unwell child’ was a collaboration between Connecting Care for Children, and Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science. The aim of the collaboration was to identify issues related to avoidable attendances at A&E in children under 5 years old in North West London. The overarching objective of the collaboration was to engage with local families to facilitate an understanding of their experiences of looking after unwell children suffering from minor illnesses.
A sequential simulation (SqS Simulation) event was organised at a community centre to engage with local families. It was used as a tool to engage healthcare professionals and families in acknowledging parental journeys and to recognise their concerns in seeking healthcare for minor childhood illnesses.
SqS Simulation is an innovative technique involving the simulation of key points from patients’ healthcare journeys2–4 that takes a longitudinal view of healthcare scenario design. Various key components in the simulation are designed to meet defined objectives drawing on an empirically and theoretically driven model developed to aid the process. It can be used beyond traditional simulation-based education approaches …
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